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Quick Kicks: Sunderland’s players were ‘cowardly’ yesterday at Boro, but debutante Robson shined

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Here’s your post-Boro cup defeat edition of Quick Kicks, where we mull over the key talking points coming away from the game. Can we realistically expect anything of Chris Coleman when you assess the state of the squad at his disposal?

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Ethan Robson may add something yet

The only real positive that I could take from the display yesterday was the showing from youngster Ethan Robson, who on his full Sunderland debut gave a man of the match performance from the centre of midfield.

Early in the game he was eager to get stuck in and put some big tackles in but, as it progressed and the pressure lessened, Robson was able to move the ball more and gave a very confident and assured performance.

It wasn’t anything overly spectacular but nonetheless it was impressive and it will have given Chris Coleman something extra to think about ahead of the Cardiff game, particularly if first-team midfielders continue to miss out through injury.

Robson has waited patiently for a year or two to have an opportunity to show what he can do and, even despite the fact ‘the team’ were completely terrible at the Riverside, he grasped the chance with both hands. Well done, Ethan.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Lack of appreciation was cowardly

There were almost 4,500 Sunderland supporters in the away end yesterday. Despite the fact that we only made a relatively short trip down the A19, that’s some going when you consider the absolute state of us, and the fact that nobody really went to the game expecting to see a Sunderland victory.

From the off the fans were boisterous and got behind the team, but then we inevitably conceded a crap early goal, and then followed it up not long after with an even worse second.

I was one of those in attendance - by the time I was back home I was about sixty quid lighter, disappointed and a little disheartened.

The referee blew the final whistle, the Boro fans cheered and the Sunderland fans in attendance looked towards the pitch for appreciation from the players - none of whom dared to come closer than the half way line before trudging down the tunnel.

It’s not something that usually annoys me - whatever, really, it is what it is - but I felt the supporters deserved a little more than that. It was a bit cowardly.

Nottingham Forest v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Money desperately needed

I don’t think that I need to tell anyone (again) just how badly this squad needs investment, but yesterday’s team selection and performance gave us our clearest indication yet as to how desperately Chris Coleman needs to be given help by the chairman.

Chris Coleman has next to nothing to work with. It doesn’t matter how good he is at his job, he cannot be expected to achieve anything this season with the squad he currently has at his disposal.

Chelsea defender Jake Clark-Salter is expected to sign either today or tomorrow on loan, but he needs to be the first of many - and we can’t afford to wait until the end of the month to have these players in and through the door. We have two more league games in January, one of which is against Hull, a relegation rival. These lads need to really be in sooner rather than later so that Chris Coleman can get them bedded in and ready for the scrap they’re about to be thrown into.

The manager isn’t a miracle worker. Our top scorer just left, and if he’s not provided with the funds to bring in someone that can adequately replace him then I’m not entirely sure what is realistically expected of him.

I firmly believe that we’ll go down without even a smidgen of cash investment, and if Ellis Short doesn’t particularly care about that then... well, we’re buggered.