Tony's Talking Points: Head Coach discusses Luton Town

Sunderland return to Sky Bet Championship action tomorrow at the Stadium of Light where Luton Town are the visitors.

The Black Cats are hoping to bounce back from the midweek loss to Sheffield United whilst the Hatters currently sit in fourth place.

Head Coach Tony Mowbray has been previewing the game and discussed the saliant talking points ahead of the tie...

There are nine games left in the league season, what do you want to see from the team between now and the end of the season?

“Enjoy their football and try and keep growing as a team.

“We keep getting difficult challenges with unavailable players and some players coming back who are not quite ready.

“I think the team, for the vast majority of the season, competed really well. That’s what we have to do for the last nine games. Compete really well, see how we go and see how many points we can get.

“Then we can see where that takes us and how we finish in the league.”

After Luton Town, you have got the international break. What is the plan for you and the squad?

“The injuries we’ve got are long term so I don’t think about the injuries and think about who we will have back after the international break. We won’t have those three or four back.

“We are treating these games as ones where we have to go and compete.

“We have got seven or eight going away. If eight are going away and we’ve got 16, we’ve got eight in training. We will work on them as individuals.

“If they are wingers, we will work on their crossing and delivery into the box. If they are strikers, we will work on their finishing. If they are defenders, we will work on their defensive qualities.

“We are here to try and improve the players and over international breaks, you haven’t got all of your team so we can’t really work on the team.

"The ideal scenario would be that you work on your team for two weeks and get really ready for the next game. The reality is we’re playing Friday night against Burnley and three or four of them won’t be back until Wednesday so we will have one day to prepare them for Burnley.

“They’ll have played a game elsewhere and flown back the next day but probably won’t be quite ready for it. It’s never easy and it sounds like excuses but I’m just trying to be realisitic and talk about the problems that you have.”

Luton Town and Rob Edwards are in contention for a play-off spot. What challenge will they bring tomorrow at the Stadium of Light?

“I think he (Rob Edwards) has been clever because I don’t think he has changed much from what I can see.

“The environment of playing at Kenilworth Road is quite unique. It’s really tight and small. They use their energy and commitment to make life really difficult for teams.

“There are a few teams that play with that intensity but I feel like they are an upgrade on those teams. They lock teams in, get it forward and make you defend. They don’t make it easy for you to pass it through.

“It’s not an accident that they are up in the top six. It is a huge credit that the coach has assessed what he’s got and seen that it’s not broken. It wasn’t broken, it was the manager who he replaced that wasn’t sacked. He moved to a Premier League club.

“He’s took over a very good team and he has kept them going. He is doing a very good job of that.”

Back to top