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Sunderland AFC vs Doncaster Rovers

1 Name: 606 2019-04-19 15:15
Sunderland AFC vs Doncaster Rovers [17:15]

Sunderland must take control against Doncaster Rovers on Friday - and talismanic midfielder Lee Cattermole has a crucial role to play, if he returns as expected.

That’s the view of Black Cats manager Jack Ross who admits his side lost their grip against Coventry City last weekend, suffering their first home league defeat of the season with the Sky Blues running out 5-4 winners in a game which saw all defensive discipline go by the wayside.

Fingers have pointed at centre-backs Tom Flanagan and Jack Baldwin , and at Ross for playing a 4-4-2 system which afforded the defence little protection.

Ross believes Sunderland’s biggest problem was not the system but stemmed from poor decision-making from individuals in possession and that is something he has worked to address in training this week before Rovers arrive on Wearside tomorrow evening.

Sunderland have by-and-large controlled games at home this season but against Coventry, and in their previous home game against Burton Albion, which ended in a draw, they have been too open and Ross says that must change.

“Systems play a part, but it is the way the game is played by the individuals within the system that dictate it,” he said.

“We maybe got caught up a little bit in the emotion of it last weekend - and I have to take my share of the responsibility for that as well - and feeling that we need to win it within the first 15 minutes.

“If you don’t do that, and you fall behind, the dynamics of the game change and you have to become more open and it becomes more basketball-like - at times that can be OK, and at times we have shown that we can wear teams down at home as well by having that control.”

Jack Ross responded to last weekend’s 5-4 defeat against Coventry City by making four changes and also switched system.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon believes the next Scotland manager should be Scottish as he ruled himself out the running.

The Scottish Football Association is on the hunt for a new national team boss after Alex McLeish departed on Thursday.

Asked if international management was something that would interest him, the Northern Irishman said: “No. I like the day-to-day stuff.

“The Scotland job should be - whether you think this is antiquated or not - (for) a Scotland man and there is plenty of good candidates in line for the job.

“The decision to remove Alex was premature and seemed to be based on one result (3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan) which is scandalous from my point of view.

“There are a lot of good candidates out there and it is a prime job still.”

He dropped centre-backs Tom Flanagan and Jack Baldwin, bringing in Alim Ozturk and Jimmy Dunne in their place.

Lee Cattermole and Aiden McGeady both returned from injury to take the places of Grant Leadbitter and Will Grigg.

With Grigg on the bench, Wyke was the lone out-and-out frontman as Ross moved away from the 4-4-2 shape he had used in recent weeks.

Chris Maguire was included on the bench for the first time since recovering from the broken leg he suffered in February, and Lynden Gooch was also amongst the subs after recovering from a hamstring problem.

SUNDERLAND: McLaughlin, O’Nien, Ozturk, Dunne, Oviedo, Cattermole, Power , Morgan, Honeyman, McGeady, Wyke.

Subs: Ruiter, Maguire, Flanagan, Hume, Leadbitter, Gooch, Grigg

DONCASTER ROVERS: Marosi, Blair, Downing, Butler, Andrew, Kane, Rowe, Coppinger, Whiteman, Marquis, Wilks .

Subs: Jones, Anderson, Sadlier, Lewis, May

REFEREE: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)

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