Sunderland boss reveals trick to beating Sheffield Wednesday after surprise decision

Alex Neil felt that his Sunderland side deserved to beat Sheffield Wednesday, revealing his surprise decision that he felt saw them through.
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The Black Cats boss spoke ahead of the game about using 3-5-2 and looking at how Wednesday have been played against while using it, but then opted for a back four on the night as they went on to finish as 1-0 winners thanks to a goal from Ross Stewart.

Neil, who has overseen an impressive run at Sunderland since coming in, says they were good value for it – and should’ve had more goals.

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Speaking after the game, he said, “I thought, in particular, from half time to about 75 minutes we should have put the game to bed… We had three or four really good chances - even the last one at the end when Ross (Stewart) put it past the post.

“I think the only frustrating thing from our point of view is that we didn’t add to the scoreline.”

He also spoke about his selection, after making some shock changes, saying, “We went into the game strategy v strategy against Sheffield Wednesday, rather than matching them up… I think most people were probably surprised that we went with a back four - but at the moment we need to do what we need to do.

“What you can’t afford to do against teams like Sheffield Wednesday is be cagey - you need to be really offensive, and try to scare them. I think that’s what we did.”

The two teams will face off at Hillsborough on Monday for a spot at Wembley later this month.