Mark Atkinson believes a touch more care in the final third can prove to be the difference between defeat and victory.
Sunderland under-18s gave as good as they had on Saturday but fell to defeat at the Academy of Light against title hopefuls Manchester United.
Tahaith Chong scored both goals for the Red Devils, despite Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Dunne levelling things up on 39 minutes.
Tom Scothern’s second-half dismissal changed the flow of the match, providing United with the impetuous to snatch all three points, with Chong once again the man in the right place to deliver the knock out blow.
And speaking post-match, Atkinson highlighted the need for quality control in and around the final third if his side are to turn their fortunes of late around.
“We were a little bit rushed and in the first half they had a lot of chances,” he said.
“They saw a lot of the ball, but we had the better chances.
“With a little bit more, care and quality with our final ball we could’ve created some really good opportunities for ourselves.
“Out of possession we worked hard for each other, we made it difficult for Manchester United but in possession we were rushed, and we needed to make better decisions,” he continued.
“The red card changed the course of the game because we were very much in the game at 1-1.”