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Quick Kicks: Let’s talk about Honeyman; Time for Sunderland gaffer Coleman to make some changes?

In today’s Quick Kicks we look at the key talking points coming away from yesterday’s draw with Birmingham City. Are we a bit too harsh on George Honeyman, or is some of the criticism levelled at him justified? And, should the manager change things up ahead of Sheffield United on Boxing day?

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

Lets talk about George

I found it quite strange when noting the reaction to George Honeyman’s performance on social media in the aftermath of yesterday’s game.

I actually thought that he played well, but it would seem that others vehemently disagreed. As he tired and the game wore on - and as our shape and approach altered completely once Birmingham were down to ten men - I think he struggled, but for the most part I was impressed with his performance.

He’s missing quality in dangerous areas at times but his work-rate and passion for playing is second to none in this team, and I think we have to cut him some slack. Not everything he does is going to come off, granted, but it’s the other stuff that impresses me most about Honeyman. He’s aggressive, he never goes hiding, always wants the ball. He tries things that other players won’t, and sometimes he gets it wrong, but I can’t fault the effort.

Was he really that bad, does he offer this team anything? That’s very much up for debate, and I respect that others don’t share the same opinion of him that I do. But the manager clearly likes what he sees and at the minute that’s good enough for me.

Bury v Sunderland - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Birmingham better than I expected

The team I saw take to the field in Blue yesterday were nowhere near as bad as I had expected, and I think that threw everyone a little.

Jota and Boga, as predicted, caused us all kinds of problems alongside Sam Gallagher, who looks a real handful and will surely score more goals if he’s played through the middle more often.

I’m more disappointed that we didn’t trouble David Stockdale in the opposition goal anywhere near enough, and it’s hard to take a result like that when you’re playing against ten men of the supposed worst side in the league, but we have to be fair and give credit to our opposition, who actually played quite well and probably deserved to win the game based on the performance over the ninety minutes.

Birmingham City v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Time to ring the changes?

One thing that the result and performance from Sunderland does do is perhaps force Chris Coleman into re-thinking what side will take to the field when we face Sheffield United on Boxing Day.

I’m not convinced that the two lads up front are a good pairing, and it may be an opportunity now to bring in Aiden McGeady, who has barely featured so far under Coleman.

McGeady was inconsistent in the run up to Coleman’s arrival but will surely be chomping at the bit to prove himself and get some valuable minutes under his belt, whilst Didier Ndong is now back fit and will be ready to offer us more than just some fresh legs from the bench towards the end of games.

Whatever Coleman opts to do, I trust him to solidify us defensively and to find a way of getting points in difficult games. Sheffield United are on a real bad run of form and we tend to do better away from home, so I’m hopeful.

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

Confidence is key

The only way that Chris Coleman can save this club from relegation is if we all rally round him to support what he’s trying to achieve.

The players may not be good enough at times but what you can trust is that Coleman will pick a side that he believes will go out there and give it everything they’ve got - the least that we can reasonably ask for.

Let’s not quibble over the rights and wrongs of the performance, but instead look to move on from it and focus on the next game. Having confidence in your own abilities is what separates the winners from the losers and we need to try and re-group and look towards the Sheffield United game now after the Christmas break.