Tony Mowbray makes Chris Rigg admission as Sunderland boss gives honest verdict after San Antonio win

Sunderland beat San Antonio FC in the first match of their US pre-season tour - with Chris Rigg and Jewison Bennette getting on the scoresheet.

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Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray admitted his side looked a little fatigued during their 3-1 pre-season win over San Antonio FC.

The Black Cats used 21 members of their squad for the match at the Toyota Field, as Mowbray changed all 10 outfield players at half-time.

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Chris Rigg opened the scoring for Sunderland, while an own goal on the stroke of half-time restored their lead after an equaliser from San Antonio defender PC .

Substitute Jewison Bennette then completed the scoring in second-half stoppage-time.

“We changed everybody at half-time so 20 outfield players got 45 minutes,” Mowbray told Sunderland’s website after the match. “They are now running as well as doing the 45 minutes.

“As I watch them I think I see fatigue in them, they are a bit, not dozy, a bit dull at times. Sharp brains were part of our game last year, clever, bright, sharp, one-twos, popping it, run it, stick it.

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“I think they have been training really, really hard in the heat and it comes down to a little bit on the matchday, on the pitch. It’s really hard, which is why we thought 45 minutes for each of them.

“Then to get the balance for the 45 minutes is to put enough experienced players on the pitch, with some really young lads.

“We were playing against a big, physical team, they are a really high-pressing team. Their stats from their league, they are the highest pressing team in the league with the most shots.

“To win 3-1 is good, to make all them changes at half-time and for everybody to get a run out is good.

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“But I understand they are playing with fatigue and they should be it’s pre-season. We don’t have to win games at this stage, we have to be ready on August the 6th.”

Mowbray was also full of praise for Rigg, who only turned 16 last month.

The teenager, who made three senior appearances in the FA Cup last term, has now scored twice in pre-season after netting the winner against South Shields.

“Chris Rigg is pushing really hard for a starting place in our team I would suggest, and I don’t say that lightly, he’s a 16-year-old boy,” Mowbray added.

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“He knows where the goal is and wants to run forward, he’s got energy to burn and can keep running all day.

“He looks you in the eye and wants to please and do what you want him to do.

“He should have scored again to be honest, if he’d trusted his right foot he would have scored again. Rigg is doing really well and is a real positive for our football club.

“I’m eulogising about him there, we shouldn’t overly build him up. He’s still a young boy but he has wonderful qualities and wonderful attributes.”

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Sunderland will play two more friendly matches against New Mexico United and North Carolina FC as part of their US tour.

When they return to England, the Black Cats have two more friendly matches against Real Mallorca and Hartlepool.