Sam Allardyce shares half-time message he gave Sunderland's players during Arsenal match

Sunderland Gates

Sunderland drew 0-0 with Arsenal in their match at the Stadium of Light yesterday.

Sam Allardyce has told the Chronicle that he urged his Sunderland players to get in Arsenal’s faces at half-time, during the contest between the two sides earlier today.

Sunderland went into the break at 0-0 against the Gunners, but their performance in the first-half did not entirely satisfy Allardyce.

The 61-year-old was unhappy with how wasteful his side were in possession, and he also didn’t feel that they had pressed enough.

And Allardyce revealed after the match that he had to give his players some stern tactical advice at the break, to ensure that they improved in the second period.

“Shut the midfield down, don’t stand off them, get in their face," Allardyce said, when asked what half-time message he gave his Sunderland team. "Every time they receive it get there on the first touch, force the centre-halves to pass through them and over them. The centre-halves ended up giving it away and we got more and more possession.

“I wasn’t happy with the first half from a possession point of view. We wasted so many balls and so many good opportunities.”

Allardyce’s words certainly seemed to spark a reaction, as Sunderland flew out of the blocks in the second period.

Jermain Defoe, Lamine Kone and Fabio Borini all had chances soon after the break, but they were unable to take them.

The Black Cats did manage to keep their second consecutive clean sheet to ensure that they claimed a valuable point, though.

Sunderland are now out of the relegation zone, with just four games remaining in their league season.

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