North East UK news Sunderland were architects of their own downfall in Sheffield admits Alex Neil PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Sunderland boss Alex Neil reacts to the Black Cats Carabao Cup exit at Sheffield Wednesday
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Alex Neil says Sunderland were the 'architects of their own downfall' as they crashed out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of League One Sheffield Wednesday. The Black Cats boss made 11 changes for the first round tie at Hillsborough, but it was the errors that led to the Owls' two goals that disappointed Neil. Sunderland lost possession in the run up to the opening goal on the quarter-hour, with Dennis Adeniran scoring with a stunning strike. And then in the second half they were put under pressure as they played the ball around at the back and they again conceded possession, this time with substitute Sylla Sow left unmarked to apply the finish. "I'm disappointed in the fact that I thought, to a certain extent, we were the architects of our own downfall," said Neil. "I don't think we got carved apart too often. READ MORE: Sunderland were close to signing Nathan Broadhead - until the weekend changed everything "Only really when we made the mistake for the first goal, we gave the ball away and the lad [Adeniran] chops it onto his 'wrong' foot and puts it into the top corner from about 30 yards. I thought seven or eight minutes after that was probably their best spell, really. "We controlled the ball without threatening. We didn't have enough of a threat, but that's my responsibility and my burden - we had Jack Diamond who is a winger playing centre-forward, and we had Harrison Sohna who is a midfield player playing left wingback. "The physical output that we put in the last two league games meant that I didn't want any of the lads who have been featuring to expose themselves this evening, because we are going to have a lot of midweek games coming up and that's going to be really taxing for us. I thought thse lads deserved their opportunity as well, but we know we can move the ball better." With several players making their first appearances of the season, it was hardly surprising that Sunderland lacked cohesion. Neil said: "The fact we made 11 changes and those players haven't been playing games is a mitigating factor. "Of course I have standards and expectancies of the lads of where they should be, but I think there are certain criteria there that makes it difficult for them. We had Jack up there on his own and we lacked a threat in the game.
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." This was a chance for a number of fringe players to stake their claim for a place in the first team and there were no obvious candidates following this performance. But Neil insists he will not judge them too harshly on the basis of one game. He said: "It's difficult to judge purely on that one game. Some of the lads applied themselves well. "Albeit the goals came from mistakes, other than that I thought we were quite solid and they didn't create too many chances - they were mainly from transition and countering. The difficulty you've got is that normally to counter that you'd have a target at the top end of the pitch to make sure you're secure behind the ball and you can put the ball forward a bit quicker but, unfortunately for Jack, that's not the type of player he is. "We didn't bring Ross [Stewart] tonight, and Ellis Simms played 87 minutes on Saturday and had only played 45 minutes in pre-season - if I'd risked him for 10-15 minutes and then he breaks down, I'd certainly be kicking myself." Neil is still keen to strengthen his squad before the transfer deadline at the end of the month and he again underlined that point, but says it is an ongoing situation rather than as a reaction to this defeat. He said: "That's not something I'm saying as a reaction to this evening. "Every press conference I've done for the last month I've spoken about the exact same thing. I've not changed my stance on that. We need to strengthen the squad. What I want is to get to the end of the window with the strongest squad possible, and every manager will be thinking exactly the same. "Then, if I lose some key players, I have got other guys who can maybe come in and do a job. Some of the lads that played tonight will have a massive bearing on what our season looks like, so I'm not going to judge them too harshly." READ NEXT Every Championship summer transfer as Sunderland's striker search continues Alex Neil will take his time before deciding whether to keep Jack Diamond on Wearside Sunderland advertise for academy manager role as restructure continues Alex Neil underlines importance of early cup games to Sunderland squad Alex Neil praised for 'exciting' Sunderland change after dream Ellis Simms debut
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