This Friday we travel to the Midlands in order to face a Derby County side that have aspirations of being in the Premier League next season. Gary Rowett and his charges are stuttering quite badly at the moment and will look at our fixture as a chance to get back on track and solidify their place in the playoff positions.
Sunderland need to win and put pressure on those above them. If the team can somehow get over the line with three points then we will be just two points away from safety - quite remarkable considering we’ve only won five games this season.
For me Chris Coleman needs to figure out a way - by hook or by crook - to not only find a place for Aiden McGeady in his side but also get the best from him.
I have been bleating on about this since January and it is no coincidence to me that the goals have dried up since McGeady has been benched. Yes, the Republic of Ireland man has his flaws - he’s not particularly proficient from a defensive perspective and he has poor work ethic at times. But... there’s a reason why he plays for Sunderland - if he was not a flawed player he would still be playing regularly for Everton!
The former Spartak Moscow winger has contributed six goals and four assists this season - and whilst the majority of those came before Chris Coleman arrived as manager, I cannot fathom why he features so sparingly when he’s quite clearly our most effective attacking player.
For all the bad facets to McGeady’s game he gives a team that has been blanked eight times this year a better chance of scoring. It’s a no-brainer for me that he should be given a more prominent role between now and the end of the season.
I can’t be the only one who watched Jake Clarke-Salter put in a classy performance for England U21s only to be left wondering where that version of him is when he plays for us? This is the man whom John Terry praised so meticulously in the past because he rates him so highly, yet since arriving on Wearside it would be fair to say that he’s struggled immensely.
I just figured that Clarke-Salter was a poor player, but clearly he isn’t. He has just been Sunderland’ed.
Elsewhere, Joel Asoro netted two goals for Sweden U21s and has further enhanced his chances of earning a move away from Wearside in the summer. Don’t get me wrong - I do hope Asoro stays at Sunderland, but really that only seems realistic if we stay up and, well...
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