Aiden McGeady becomes only the second player to retain the top spot in the Roker Report Power Rankings for three straight weeks after producing more brilliance against Bristol Rovers.
The Republic of Ireland international lead Sunderland to a vital victory, providing both assists in the Black Cats 2-1 come-from-behind victory.
His defence splitting pass for Josh Maja’s magnificent winner followed his impressive curled effort that lead to Adam Matthews leveller just before half-time.
Matthews remains McGeady’s closest challenger after scoring his first goal of the season. The 26-year-old returned from injury to further showcase his value to the Wearsiders’ attack - he has five assists to go with his one goal in league action.
George Honeyman completes the top three after pushing McGeady for Man of the Match honours in our recent League One win. If his infectious determination and humility that shines through in Sunderland Til I Die isn’t enough to silence his haters, more on pitch performances like the Rovers’ clash where he was involved in almost all Sunderland’s best moments certainly will.
All 33 of our players in our Power Rankings chart have now played for the club. Duncan Watmore’s long-awaited first-team return completes the list. We’ve debuted the ‘Road Runner’ at 16 as an active player, but anticipate the former England Under 21 international could rise higher in the weeks to come, once he’s fully fit and regularly tormenting League One defences.
1: Aiden McGeady (1) - Jack Baldwin is the only other player to manage the feat of remaining top of the Power Rankings for three straight weeks, but McGeady deserves that accolade too as he continues to torch League One defences and be Sunderland’s most decisive player.
2: Adam Matthews (2) -Second for a second consecutive week - whilst Maja’s contract situation is making all the headlines, keeping Matthews for the long-term is becoming more important by the week.
3: George Honeyman (6) - Our captain returns to the top three after another impressive performance against Bristol Rovers. Playing further forward, he acted as an impressive link man between our midfield and attack, whilst also showcasing his trademark graft.
4: Max Power (4) - Remains at four as he continues to rehabilitate his reputation as a leading League One central midfielder. His passing range and ability to create chances was on full display against Rovers.
5: Josh Maja (8) - Back in the top five after yet another vital winner. Maja keeps on finding new ways to impress the Wearside faithful - his winner was sensational. How many players in England’s third tier could evade defenders and find the bottom corner with the ease and composure Maja showed?
6: Jon McLaughlin (3) - A rare week outside the top five for Sunderland’s stopper. He remains one of our most reliable players, but drops due to the uncertainty over his fitness and his rare mistake in that crazy abandoned game at Accrington.
7: Lynden Gooch (7) - Stays at seven after another curiously quiet fortnight, the American doesn’t seem to be playing with the same level of confidence as the Black Cats’ other crucial attackers.
8: Bryan Oviedo (13) - Back into the top ten after a rare league start. Oviedo’s greater creativity and attacking capabilities created more space for McGeady, whilst Rovers failed to exploit his defensive limitations.
9: Chris Maguire (9) - Stays at nine after his strange performance against Rovers, the King looked out of sorts in his short cameo against the relegation strugglers. His hilarious goal against Accrington Stanley unfortunately didn’t count for anything other than a laugh.
10: Luke O’Nien (5) - Drops five spots due to a lack of game time. O’Nien didn’t see any action in our latest league outing, whilst he moonlighted as an auxiliary right-back in our disappointing FA Cup exit.
11: Reece James (10) - His late exit from the starting line-up against Bristol sees one of our most consistent performers lose his top ten spot for the first time in over a month.
12: Jack Baldwin (11) - Our centre-backs continue to toil outside the top ten. Baldwin put in another sub-par performance in the league and was culpable in Bristol Rovers’ shock opener in Saturday’s clash.
13: Tom Flanagan (12) - Another surprise omission from our League line-up due to injury, his inactivity keeps him outside of our top ten.
14: Dylan McGeouch (15) - Seems to have fallen down Jack Ross’ pecking order and could plummet down our rankings soon.
15: Lee Cattermole (16) - Stays outside the top ten after two lacklustre showings as he continues to search for form and fitness after a month out through injury.
16: Duncan Watmore (33) - With great pleasure, Roker Report welcomes Duncan into the top 20 for the first time. The former England under-21 international has looked sharp in his three first-team appearances and should rise higher once he’s making important contributions in league outings.
17: Bali Mumba (17) - Continues to hold his own in the men’s game, despite his age. Mumba was in contention to be Man of the Match against a strong Notts County side in the EFL Trophy.
18: Glenn Loovens (18) - Failed to capitalise on a rare league start against Rovers. Our veteran defender struggled and should have prevented the opposition’s goal.
19: Jerome Sinclair (14) - This week’s major faller. The 23-year-old appears to have lost all confidence and just doesn’t look comfortable leading the line for Sunderland on current form.
20: Alim Ozturk (19) - Remains the Mackem’s fourth choice centre-back. He helped the team achieve a clean sheet and safe progression to the last 16 in the EFL Cup, but hasn’t seen league action since our 2-1 win at Bradford.
21: Robbin Ruiter 22: Denver Hume 23: Benji Kimpioka 24: Charlie Wyke 25: Jack Bainbridge 26: Ethan Robson 27: Donald Love 28: Jack Diamond 29: Jake Hackett 30: Lee Connelly 31: Brandon Taylor 32: Jordan Hunter 33: Daniel Neil