'It was a case of fine margins': Sunderland boss Lee Johnson reflects on his side's defeat to Blackpool
Sunderland boss Lee Johnson felt his side were on the wrong end of the fine margins in their 1-0 defeat to Blackpool.
Blackpool cemented their spot in the League One play-offs and opened up a five-point gap with a huge win against promotion rivals, who they face again in just over a week's time.
A second-half goal which was credited to Ellis Simms, but appeared to come off Sunderland man Bailey Wright, proved to be enough in this cagey, tense encounter at Bloomfield Road.
In a game of few clear-cut chances, Sunderland perhaps had the upper-hand but they were unable to breach Blackpool’s water-tight defence, who kept their 18th clean sheet of the season.
In seeing off the third-placed Black Cats, who have now lost three games on the bounce, Neil Critchley’s side are now unbeaten in their last 16 games.
Reflecting on his side's display, Johnson said: "We let them off the hook a couple of times.
"When you're not winning regularly like we were about eight days ago, it seems like those little moments don't go for you.
"We end up giving the ball away for the goal and they get a little deflection when they score.
"To be fair after that it was all us, but there wasn't quite enough goalmouth action and you have to give them credit for the way they defended.
"But the impetus was certainly with us, but it was a case of fine margins.
"In previous games we only have ourselves to blame, but today when it's so tight - if you played the game 100 times you'd certainly get a lot of draws or 1-0 wins in the majority of them.
"Blackpool are a good side. We know how they press, we know how they're committed and useful, so we had to be controlled and play through that, which I thought we did.
"After the first 10 to 15 minutes, our centre-forwards started to get hold of the ball and brought the wide men into play. At times, they were creative but at other times, like I say, we let them off the hook.
"That's something we're going to have to get better at if we want to get on another winning run."
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