Date: 14th February 2011 at 8:13pm
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Sunderland lost to Stoke last week due to their inability to defend from crosses from Pennant.

Sadly, Sunderland lost their lead against high flying Spurs because of poor defending and goalkeeping from Craig Gordon.

A statistic I heard during Match of the day was that Blackpool have scored from an amazing 11 corners this season. I would struggle to remember 11 in my lifetime of supporting this club.

Steve Bruce must start using different players from corners and free kicks in order to boost our goal scoring chances.

Bruce told the Sunderland Echo: ‘Set-piece defending is part of the game, but, at the moment, we`re just not doing it,” he sighed.

“It`s a simple part of the game, too, the ball comes in and you get up, get in there and don`t let them get a useful touch.

“All it takes is courage and concentration, but, at the moment, far too often, we don`t seem to be producing either.

“Against Spurs, the frustration for me is the manner in which we concede the first goal – the goal which effectively changes the game.

“It wasn`t even a particularly great delivery from their corner, just a simple set-piece.

“But Titus Bramble has switched off at the critical moment and then from the header, the keeper should do better – I didn`t think he was obscured by someone`s run, I thought it was past him before he reacted.”

“That`s the disappointment for me after Stoke,” he said.”We haven`t learned our lesson. “And it`s costing us dearly – in this league if you don`t do your job properly it costs you.”

And all the more exasperating for the manager is that in between the mistakes from his side, there`s magic.

“Some of our first-half play was terrific,” he agreed. “We played well in the first half against Chelsea, we dominated the game against Stoke and against Spurs we deserved to be ahead on the balance of our first half`s play.

“But then we`ve conceded a daft goal which gives them a lift just before half-time and our dressing room is as flat as it could be.

“Spurs defended well and scored a very good second goal, but we weren`t as good as we were in the first half because we`d given Spurs such a lift.”

 

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