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Quick Kicks: Coleman’s subs were quality, & the clean sheet will give us immense confidence

In our post-Burton Albion edition of Quick Kicks we take a look at the main talking points coming away from the victory yesterday at the Pirelli Stadium.

What a win!

Coleman’s changes did the biz

The best thing about yesterday’s performance and result was the changes that Chris Coleman made late in the game, and the impact that those players then had.

Our system changed to more of a 4-4-2 and Coleman took off players that weren’t performing. Darron Gibson, James Vaughan and Joel Asoro gave us an edge over Burton and when we had chances, we were clinical.

Darron Gibson in particular was tremendous, and it’s not often that we get to say that, but credit has to be given when it is due. He put his foot on the ball and dictated play, pushing us ten yards further forward and giving us the type of midfield performance that we’ve not seen from a Sunderland player all season.

Aston Villa v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

James Vaughan brought energy and physicality to our forward line and he found himself in the right place at the right time for his goal - and, whilst I understand people’s anger towards him for his celebration, I can also understand his frustration that his time thus far at Sunderland hasn’t exactly gone to plan. Scoring will have been a massive weight off his shoulders and hopefully Coleman’s appointment brings with it a fresh start for a player that badly needs it. Don’t forget what Coleman’s management did for the career of Hal Robson Kanu, for instance.

And Joel Asoro - admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of the lad and I’ve been critical of his performances for the U23s this season, but he played his part when he came on and his ball in for Honeyman’s goal was excellent. If he can continue to have an impact with the first team over the coming months, particularly in the absence of Duncan Watmore, then he will surely earn his chance to feature on a more regular basis.

You have to hand it to the manager, though. Having watched on as Simon Grayson failed to recognise when changes needed to be made in a game, it’s nice that I’m able to talk positively about Coleman’s in-game management.

More of the same against Reading, please!


Not only did we win, but we kept a clean sheet - our first of the season!

Burton, admittedly, were very poor and I’m not sure Robbin Ruiter even had a real save to make, but coming away with three points AND with no goals conceded will do his confidence and the confidence of the defenders in front of him the world of good.

Much of that comes down to the excellent work of Bryan Oviedo and Tyias Browning, both of whom were absolutely tremendous yet again.

I have no doubt that Coleman will make this team more resilient, but it’ll take time and we have to build upon this performance. Do that and our confidence as a unit will grow, I’m sure of it.

Ineffective wing-play

Whilst the result and clean sheet is of course the most important aspect of what occured down at Burton yesterday, I can’t help but mention just how ineffective Aiden McGeady was yet again.

McGeady is a far better footballer than his form is showing currently and we need him to step up and perform like the big-game player he is if we are to gain momentum and continue winning football matches.

When he’s rolling I firmly believe he’s one of the best players in the division, but he has to start showing it again soon because it’s been a while since he last gave us a match-winning performance.

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