MICHAEL BEALE claims his Sunderland side are “never going to blow anyone away”, so admits they have to find a way to win tight matches such at tonight’s against Huddersfield Town.

The Black Cats were beaten by the only goal of the game at the John Smith’s Stadium, with Matty Pearson bundling home after Anthony Patterson could only claw Jack Rudoni’s shot from a set-piece into his path.

Sunderland failed to seriously threaten the Huddersfield defence for most of the game, only really beginning to create chances in the final five minutes or so.


Prior to that, the Terriers were well on top, with the Black Cats failing to match their opponents for physicality or sheer will to win.

Beale said: “On our best day, I think we can be slightly better than the opposition, but we're not going to blow anyone away, we don't score enough goals from the nine position to do that.

“There's not much between the teams, the game goes in waves and when our tails are up, we have to take our chances. In a tight game, we need to be scoring from a set-play and not conceding them.

“It's natural to come away from home when their crowd are up - you're going to have difficult moments in the game. It's a pretty standard set-play we've conceded from, then we opened up in the second half and had our moments.”

Beale felt his side created sufficient late opportunities to warrant claiming at least a point, but admitted their habit of conceding from set-pieces is becoming increasingly costly.

He said: “It was a wild second half after a quite average first half. We conceded again from a set-play away from home and that's not good enough.

“There's a bit of deja vu there, are we quite alive to them getting a shot off and then the second ball. Just before the half-time whistle, we had two set-piece situations and we weren't as alive and reactive.

“We knew what to expect here because Jon (Worthington) has got them going and got the crowd up. They were up and at it in the first half and our midfield wanted one too many touches on the ball, we had some issues with their energy in the first half.

“We tried to gamble more in the second half and it made for a really open game - we certainly had opportunities. Trai (Hume) had a big chance, their keeper makes an incredible save after, Paddy (Roberts) gets down the side and crosses it - where were we?! Then a corner to the back post, they're big moments.”