Lee Johnson urges Sunderland to be ‘relentless’ after win at Crewe

Posted Wednesday, October 20, 2021 by PA

Lee Johnson urges Sunderland to be ‘relentless’ after win at Crewe

Lee Johnson says his Sunderland side must be “relentless” and maintain their winning streak to stay among League One’s frontrunners.

The Black Cats overcame some early Crewe pressure and profited from Terell Thomas’ unfortunate own goal before moving through the gears to win 4-0 at Gresty Road.

With rivals Wycombe and Wigan dropping points, a third consecutive win enabled Sunderland to move up to second place.

But Johnson stressed: “It’s a really competitive division this year and we’ve got to keep on doing our job. We’ve got to keep being relentless and trying to go for wins.

“Every club has a sticky patch and we had one the other week against Portsmouth when we didn’t deal with the conditions, but this was a calm night and we made the most of it.

“It was a really professional performance as Crewe are a good team and caused problems in the first 15 minutes. Their press was really good, but once we worked that out we were good and did most of the damage in the first half.”
Second-bottom Crewe, now with just one win from their opening 13 fixtures, threatened in the opening 20 minutes with Scott Robertson and Kane Ramsay going close with driven efforts.

But once Thomas sliced Alex Pritchard’s cross into his own net for the 25th-minute opener it was a different game.

There was no luck involved as Sunderland cut through the home ranks with Dan Neil crossing for Ross Stewart to head home.

Stewart tapped in his second after Callum Doyle flicked on Pritchard’s corner.

And with Crewe fading away in the closing stages substitute Leon Dajaku took Neil’s pass and galloped clear on the right to shoot under Will Jaaskelainen .

Johnson added: “Crewe were plucky and we probably scored against the run of play from the corner [for the first]. But our counter attacking was really slick and we had a few gears in us.

“Ross has got to keep on getting into dangerous areas and it was a really good finish by Leon with his left foot.”

Dave Artell blamed Crewe’s defending from set-pieces for their downfall, but the Alex manager said there had been an improvement on the weekend defeat at Fleetwood.

“The performance was miles better than Saturday but at the moment we are conceding too many cheap goals,” said Artell.

“We’ve conceded from two set-pieces and that’s five goals [from set-pieces] in the last three games – and that makes it impossible.

“Early on I thought we were the better team and we were forcing them into mistakes. But we didn’t recover well from the own goal and the third goal killed us.

“At the moment we’re finding it tough, but we’ve got to keep going. We’ve got to be harder to beat, which we were early on in the season.”


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