The Reds’ Head Coach gave his thoughts to the media after seeing his side slip to a 4-2 defeat against promotion rivals, Sunderland.
A disastrous first half from his side saw Sunderland score three goals in 10 minutes, to take a 3-0 lead. Kieffer Moore struck back twice to give his side hope, but a quick break whilst the Reds were all in attacking positions saw the hosts clinch the points.
“I’m happy that we showed fight to come back in the game,” Stendel stated, following the game. “But, we can’t be satisfied. We started our game after 30 minutes, that’s not enough to win at Sunderland.”
When Moore netted his and the Reds’ second midway through the second half, it was one-way traffic. The emphasis of the match was all on Stendel’s side powering forward, but ultimately that would be their downfall as Sunderland soaked up the pressure before countering when the opportunity was there to do so.
“It was a very different two halves,” Stendel continued. “I’m happy with our attempts to come back and how we played in the second half and the last 10 minutes in the first half, which did give us a chance to change the game. It’s unbelievable in some ways to think that we could have a chance to get points from being 3-0 behind against such an experienced team, so we have to try and see that as a positive.
“Overall, I’m disappointed. I’m not sure why we played like that in the first 30 minutes. They were good during this time, we were impressed with Sunderland’s ball possession and their game, but we didn’t show our pressing style and didn’t defend together. The biggest point is that we didn’t play brave enough, you need to be brave to win here, we missed that in the first 30 minutes so that’s the biggest point I’m disappointed about.”
It’s back-to-back cup matches now for Stendel’s squad. Defeat at Sunderland ended an unbeaten run of seven matches, but the games come thick and fast with an Emirates FA Cup trip to Southend United at the weekend, before the Checaktrade Trophy tie with Man City U21s at Oakwell on Tuesday evening.