Portsmouth's bullying tactics no problem for Sunderland boss as they swat Blues aside
Lee Johnson saluted Sunderland for the way his side handled Pompey’s bullying tactics.
And the Black Cats insisted he can see the real promotion contenders starting to come through now, as he oversaw his side’s 2-0 win at Fratton Park.
Johnson’s side were comfortable throughout and worthy winners, with the result heaping more pressure on Kenny Jackett’s men.
The former Bristol City manager thought his team negated Pompey impressively
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He told the Sunderland Echo: ‘I was really happy with that. It gave me a lot of satisfaction.
‘I thought we were so professional after we scored our first goal.
‘We made minimal mistakes defensively, and we had a lot of interaction and interplay going forward.
‘We were a difficult side to play against.
‘Portsmouth tried to bully us, I thought. They wanted to get the ball in to their two big lads but our back two, and later back three, coped with that really well and limited them to not a lot.
‘Against a good side like Portsmouth, I think that shows that we are improving and progressing as we want to.’
The win over Pompey sees Sunderland extend their unbeaten run under Johnson to eight games, with six wins arriving at the time.
At the same time their opponent’s season continues to fall apart, with it now just a single success from their past seven outings.
Johnson added: ‘I’ve said I think that the bigger clubs in the division will come through, and I think that’s showing now. A lot of the bigger clubs are starting to make inroads in that top six and towards the top two, including us.
‘We’ve just got to keep making sure our performances are good and that we keep building. We have to be relentless in our attitude to win football matches.
‘We’re still the challengers. What do you fight harder as, the challenger or the champion?
‘At the moment, we’re the challenger and we have to just continue with what we’re doing. If you start looking at the outcome, you can fall down. Fans and press can do what you want, that’s your prerogative, but our job internally is to make sure we keep our eye on the ball.’
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