Sunderland assistant reacts as Black Cats take another step forward with win over Rochdale
Jamie McAllister praised Sunderland for their game management as they came through a stern test with three more valuable points.
The Black Cats were troubled by a good Rochdale side through much of the first half on Saturday afternoon, but their ruthless finishing game them the advantage as Dion Sanderson and Charlie Wyke scored excellent headers.
It was a composed display through the second half, Lee Burge making one fine save from Stephen Humphrys but otherwise enjoying a quiet afternoon.
With Peterborough United and Portsmouth both losing, it was a good afternoon for the Black Cats as they made it sixteen points from the last eighteen available in League One.
The win sets them up perfectly for a huge fortnight in which they play three sides in the top ten, as well as the Papa John’s Trophy final.
“They're a good side who move the ball well,” McAllister said.
“Their rotations are very good.
“It was a difficult game but the lads gave us a chance with another clean sheet and we know we've always got goals in the team.
“It is two terrific deliveries and two good goals.
“You've always got a good chance when you win the battle in both boxes and that's what we've been doing of late.
“That's down to the team collectively, defending well and being organised out of possession.
“They caused us problems but Burgey made a couple of good saves and Ollie Younger made a terrific clearance before half time.
“It was a difficult game but the boys managed it well after we went 2-0 up, I thought.”
McAllister was full of praise for Sunderland's matchwinners as they continue to make a major impression.
“Dion and Luke of them have been excellent, first class,” he said.
“It was nice to see Dion getting on the end of things as we work on that a lot in training.
“And the big man has been brilliant up front.
“He's given us a platform to play off, he runs in behind and his touch is good.
“His all-round game is excellent, even his defending from set plays.
“It all comes from his work in training.
“He's full of confidence and the service in to him was good.”