'It was a day when we missed the crowd': Sunderland boss Lee Johnson delivers his verdict on his side's defeat to Blackpool
Sunderland boss Lee Johnson felt his side missed the supporters to "sharpen them up" during their 1-0 defeat to Blackpool.
Sullay Kaikai’s second-half thunderbolt sealed a league double over the Black Cats, having also beaten them 1-0 at Bloomfield Road just 10 days ago.
The victory, combined with results going their way elsewhere, leaves Pool in fifth, three points ahead of seventh-placed Oxford United with a game in hand to play.
As for Sunderland, they drop down to fourth after failing to win for the seventh game running.
"The first half was fairly even," Johnson told our sister paper, the Sunderland Echo.
"Both sides almost cancelled each other and I thought it looked like a leggy game, there wasn't enough spark from either side.
"Second half it opened up a bit as it always would but you haven't got the crowd to sharpen you up and I felt it was a day when we missed the crowd a lot, in a game like after that.
"I thought after they scored, which was a fantastic strike and largely against the run of play because Lee Burge hasn't had a lot to do, I thought we were poor for a spell.
"We felt a bit sorry for ourselves until the last 10 or 15, where we had a bit of a go and created a few chances.
"It's my challenge now, I think my second big challenge really since I came to the club, to retain some positivity and find that bit of magic if you like, to get the boys going and pick a team at Plymouth that isn't going to feel sorry for itself.
"Blackpool are a good side and they showed that in spells tonight, but it was a leggy game and a leggy performance.
"At the moment, the challenge is peaking [for the play-offs].
"We’ve been going so well, so no wins from seven isn’t nice to hear, let me tell you. But at the same time, within those seven games, there have been some good performances.
"It’s my job to start earning my money now, and bring a bit of special motivation to get the boys going.”
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