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First loss of the season - let’s try and stay positive: Quick Kicks from SAFC 0 Leeds 2

A disappointing two goal loss to Leeds United left Grayson and co. tasting defeat for the first time this season. Should we be worried, or do we need to take a step back and calm down?

Sunderland v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

First taste of defeat - but let’s not panic

A poor performance saw the Lads defeated for the first time this season, and of course it’s disappointing to finally lose, but it isn’t the end of the world by any means.

The team certainly looked poor at times, and Leeds took advantage of some sloppy play, but if truth be told that was a game we deserved to lose and hopefully it will kick the team up the arse ahead of a busy week.

Grayson has walked into our club with incredibly limited resources, a disgruntled fanbase, and a lacklustre squad, yet has managed to instill a level of fight and hope in the players and fans that hasn’t been seen for years. He’s done well so far and will continue to do so if we give him our time, patience and encouragement. Ha’way, Si!


Galloway really is struggling

I don’t want to be overly critical here because the lad is still finding his feet and is seemingly not a natural left-back; however, the young Everton defender is playing very poorly at the minute.

I’m certain Grayson and his staff will have noticed Galloway’s performances of late and will be giving a chance to the returning Bryan Oviedo in the coming week.

However, I’d like to see someone like Tommy Robson given a chance to impress. He’s a young lad from the area who’s waited patiently for his chance to make a mark on the first team... sound like anyone else who’s having a great start to the season? From what I’ve seen of him he’s a solid player who won’t pull up any trees, but could certainly add something to the side. Maybe he’ll be given a chance at some point this week?

Watford v Sunderland - Premier League
It would be nice to see someone like Robson given a chance - Carlisle would be a good opportunity.
Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Tiredness & squad depth

Again it was clear to see that the side are struggling with the fast and furious nature of the Championship’s fixture list as many of the Lads clearly began to fade as the game wore on.

The side certainly has quality in it, just not enough quality in depth in order to keep players fresh. We’ve had 5 games in the last 15 days with another two to come this week. That averages out to a game every three days, and the starting line-up we have simply don’t look capable of being able to keep up with that volume of games - and who can blame them?

Short and the board desperately need to release funds in order to help Grayson strengthen the squad because as well as the new manager has done with limited resources, this side will struggle to grow without further additions to enable players the chance to recover sufficiently ahead of important games.


Kone was class

His future might be up in the air, but Sunderland should do everything they can to keep hold of Lamine Kone because yesterday the Ivorian was immense. Even the South stand were singing his name at one point such was the impressiveness of his display - and that hasn’t happened in quite a while.

I do worry that if we lose Lamine our defence could take a big hit in terms of presence and confidence. Our full-backs have struggled, but our central defenders have played well this season. If Kone stays and we bring other additions into the side then we could do very well this season. If Kone leaves I think we might struggle a little moving forward.

Livingston v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly
Size on them legs.
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Let’s not panic

I mentioned earlier, but let’s not revert back to doom and despair after yesterday’s defeat. Yes it was a poor performance, and yes we desperately need reinforcements, but this week sees us play Carlisle and Barnsley away from home. Games where we can rest some tired legs and give some other players the chance to lay down a claim for first-team football.

After the Barnsley game we don’t play until September 9th - plenty of time to get bodies in and rest those who’ve given us a decent start to the season. Let’s go into this week confident of securing two results, take a breather and go again.