Sunderland boss makes ‘amazing’ Sheffield United admission amid promotion battle with Middlesbrough

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Black Cats boss gave his thoughts on the Championship run in and made a claim about the Sheffield United squad compared with Burnley and Middlesbrough.

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray praised the work of Blades manager Paul Heckingbottom and his Sheffield United squad in comparison with promotion rivals Middlesbrough and Burnley ahead of Wednesday's Championship meeting.

The Blades travel to the Stadium of Light tonight and look to bounce back from a bitter 1-0 defeat to Luton Town as Michael Carrick's Middlesbrough closed the gap between second and third with a draw against Stoke City last night.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sunderland's play-off hopes aren't dead yet, although they are outside contenders for a place in the top six, and Mowbray has given his analysis of the sides vying for promotion in his pre-match press conference.

He said: "I think everybody knows how Sheffield United play, everybody knows they have outside centre-halves in a back three that push up the pitch and overlap and join in and create overloads. I don't think it's a surprise.

"Burnley have been a surprise to the league because they are so different to what they were and Kompany has brought a totally different dynamic with different types of players.

"In our game against them, they played the big centre-forward through the middle in the first half and we were 2-0 up and then he brought his two flying, fast, clever, intelligent wingers on and changed the game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I'd have to say they have Premier League depth and lots of different types of footballers and yet I don't see that depth in Sheffield United and I think they've done amazingly well to be where they are."

The Black Cats boss also had praise for fellow North East side Middlesbrough and how Carrick has rejuvenated the side since arriving in October.

Mowbray said: "Middlesbrough, we can all see, have had an amazing run and it's amazing to see how they have gelled as a group. There has been investment. They have a lot of players in their team who can score goals and it's going to be a really interesting last 10 games for both of them clubs.

"Luton have done amazingly well. It's not the first year, they made the play-offs last year. You look at their stadium and environment and it feels like a small club and yet they've invested as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Cauley Woodrow, three years ago was one of the best players in the Championship, and yet he sits on their bench every week and comes on for the last 20 minutes."

Sheffield United are pulling together to try and secure automatic promotion: Warren Little/Getty ImagesSheffield United are pulling together to try and secure automatic promotion: Warren Little/Getty Images
Sheffield United are pulling together to try and secure automatic promotion: Warren Little/Getty Images

Despite his comment about Sheffield United's squad depth, Mowbray accepted that tonight's fixture would be "really dangerous" for Sunderland.

He added: "They're not going to come and try and sit in and nick it 1-0, they'll try and use their talent and quality. It should be a good game and one we're ready for."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.