Time for fringe players to be brought into side?

Sunderland missed a glorious opportunity to get out the bottom three on Wednesday when they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light for the second successive year.

This defeat leaves the Black Cats four points from safety but many of the players in the current first team line up are not good enough to get us out of the mess we are in.

Several of the summer signings have barely featured yet in the league so is it time to start giving the wider squad a chance to impress Gus Poyet in the first team?

The goalkeeping position and defence are positions that we can get away with as a settled back five of Vito Mannone, Phil Bardsley, John O’Shea, Wes Brown and possibly Marcos Alonso, who is set to make his debut on Sunday, would do a decent job against most Premier League attacks.

The striking position has misfired significantly this season with the stuttering form of Steven Fletcher and the awful form of Jozy Altidore. The fact that the club allowed Connor Wickham to spend another month on loan at Sheffield Wednesday is puzzling as whenever the forward has spent time out on loan he has scored plenty of goals.

A consistent run in the Sunderland team for Wickham may just unlock the youngster’s talents but he will need the service, which takes us onto the midfield.

As shown on Wednesday, the midfield is not able to break sides down. They were limited with shots from range and rarely delivered the ball to the strikers.

Some more direct players added to the team would get the ball to the strikers. Both David Moberg Karlsson and Charis Mavrias have been in decent form for Kevin Ball’s second string U21 side, so a first team promotion could be on the cards as they surely couldn’t do a worse job than the likes of Adam Johnson and Seb Larsson.

As mentioned above, the FA Cup third round tie with Carlisle is on this Sunday so it could be an ideal opportunity to give the likes of Karlsson, Mavrias, Ji and even young striker Mikael Mandron or a shock return for the exiled Cabral a chance to impress and stake a claim in the side in front of the current crop of players.

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