Soccer

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray: Jobe Bellingham ‘a joy to work with’

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray heaped plenty of praise on goalscorer Jobe Bellingham (Richard Sellers/PA)
Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray heaped plenty of praise on goalscorer Jobe Bellingham (Richard Sellers/PA) Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray heaped plenty of praise on goalscorer Jobe Bellingham (Richard Sellers/PA)

Tony Mowbray praised Jobe Bellingham’s willingess to learn after his first senior goals powered Sunderland’s 2-1 comeback win against Rotherham.

Bellingham’s brace helped overturn Hakeem Odoffin’s early goal and secure a welcome win for the Stadium of Light crowd.

Mowbray admitted afterwards that the 17-year-old was disappointed not to land a hat-trick and praised him for his efforts after being moved up front early in the game.

The Black Cats head coach, who also revealed that the club are on the brink of making a breakthrough in the transfer market, believes getting on the board at the first time of asking was an important step for his team after a frustrating start to the campaign.

“It’s important we got the win as it can weigh heavy,” Mowbray said.

“I think we’ve been unfortunate not to get anything from two games having dominated, and I thought we deserved to win today.

“I think Jobe is disappointed he didn’t get more goals. He had a couple of good chances but he’s in the six-yard box and playing the role we’re asking him to play.

“He had to show good flexibility today because we pushed him higher up the pitch, and he got the goals for us.

“His greatest asset is he wants to learn, he’s asking us coaches questions every single day. He’s a joy to work with.”

Mowbray confirmed that Bellingham’s striker role will be brief, with a new arrival from the loan market imminent.

“I’m hoping we’ll have a striker in soon,” he said.

Rotherham boss Matt Taylor believes his club must strengthen in the closing stages of the transfer window as their wait for a first win continues.

The Millers, who have one point from their first three fixtures, saw goalscorer Odoffin limp out of the contest not long after his impressive strike gave his side the lead.

Taylor admits his squad are struggling physically and need more if they are to improve their form.

“Hakeem has picked up a muscle injury. He scored a really good goal and then limped off, that’s where we are,” Taylor said.

“It’s a culmination of playing so much of the start of the season with 10 men against good quality opposition. They’re really low at the moment in terms of their physical attributes and they’re at risk.

“We’ll keep on working, we’ve got offers out to players and we’re mainly waiting for the loan market. We need to get our injured players back as well, we’re almost at double figures and that’s not manageable.

“It’s incredible, so we need to improve that first and foremost and then look to the market.”

Taylor also called for greater consistency after seeing just five minutes stoppage time awarded at the end of the loss to Sunderland.

The Rotherham boss was booked for his protestations and said there must be greater consistency in how added time is decided.

“I’ll get in trouble again because the fourth official says it’s the referee timekeeping, the fourth official says it’s the referee,” Taylor said.

“We played five minutes on the back of the six substitution stops and an injury where all 22 players come over for a drink.

“Five minutes, given what we’ve seen this season, is absolutely incredible. I wasn’t asking for 10 or 12 but five was incredible.”