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What do you make of the decision to call off Sunderland’s game v Fleetwood at short notice?

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Yesterday, Sunderland called off their game with Fleetwood, prompting debate amongst bemused supporters over why such a decision was taken at relatively short notice. Was it the right thing to do?

Sunderland v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Q: What do you make of Jack Ross’s decision to call off the Fleetwood game at short notice?


Sean Brown says...

Considering the size of the squad and the areas that would go without, you’d think that it’s unnecessary. Lee Burge would benefit from league football with the cup form he’s had against high level opponents, and as far as Flanagan and Conor McLauglin are concerned, both have available replacements that have proven themselves.

Even if it would mean moving Luke O’Nien back to right back for this game (which I think we all know isn’t his best position) he’s still more than capable of dealing with a Fleetwood attack while Conor is away... so in all seriousness why would you choose to postpone at this point in the season?

I’m not privy to the thought processes of Jack Ross and Co - I’m not sure what to make of a lot of decisions made by the management and his coaching staff at the moment. Some things just seem to be done, however unintentionally, to confound those poor souls with half decent eyesight, half a brain and confidence in their team’s ability to overcome such terrible adversity.

In my humble opinion, it just makes absolutely no sense to do this, unless the manager has a serious concern that without those three individuals we can’t manage to defeat the might of Fleetwood in the league. If this is the case, with the players we have at our disposal then *whichever deity you pray to* help us, as we’ve fallen and we can’t get up.

Say the three players we have leaving on international duty (for arguments sake) are injured. Say they’re out for a month each... would we still go into each game expecting the win, expecting to dominate the opposition, expecting to be the side actively chasing promotion and having the squad able to achieve this even with a flurry of injuries?

I’d wager most of us would. I’d like to think injury to Flanagan wouldn’t decide our season. Depending on the player you would likely be more cautious, but while we have the ability to beat teams without these players on the pitch, it’s just beyond my simple little mind.

Burnley v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Second Round Photo by Kevin Barnes - CameraSport via Getty Images

Damian Brown says...

There’s no logical reason I can see.

Missing are Flanagan, Jon McLaughlin and Conor McLaughlin. If Jack Ross was honest with himself Jon wouldn’t even be in the plans for the next few games, having made a fantastic case for Burge to take his spot. There’s no shame in that either - a good team can afford to rotate players dependent on who’s performing best.

Equally, Flanagan should never be the first name on the team sheet, particularly with the impressive defensive display from his compatriots in recent days. Which only real leaves Connor McLaughlin’s spot empty - an right back role in which Ross has already managed to utilise Luke O’Nien.

As with the majority of Ross’s tactical decisions I’m trying to lay all these jigsaw pieces on the table to try and figure out what the picture is, but it might as well be missing 500 of 1000 pieces.

It’s frustrating enough as a fan to not be able to comprehend the pitch-side reasoning of the man charged with achieving promotion, let alone having to wrestle with the ridiculously large question mark that this postponement raises.

Sunderland v Rotherham United - EFL League 1 Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Phil West says...

It is absolutely the wrong decision. We need to keep things rolling, and fixture postponements are not going to do that.

Yes, in theory, being in a certain position in the league with games in hand might give you a temporary boost, but we all saw what happened last season when the fixtures started to pile up. We failed to take advantage of the games in hand, and we ended up chasing the coattails of the teams ahead of us, something for which we paid a heavy price.

Postponing a game adds extra pressure when you finally do get around to playing it, and for a club in our position, that is something we could certainly do without. Let’s just face the challenge each game poses, rather than putting it off until a later date.

Let’s face it, we have the depth to cope without the McLaughlin duo as well as Flanagan. If necessary, Luke O’Nien can slot into the defence (surely that wouldn’t be an issue for one game), Lee Burge is a more then capable replacement for Jon McLaughlin, and Tom Flanagan right now wouldn’t get into our first-choice central defensive partnership anyway, so it’s not as if we’d be down to the ‘bare bones’ heading into this fixture.

A very ill-advised decision, and Jack Ross has certainly not helped his cause here. It seems the fans definitely wanted the game to go ahead, and this certainly won’t endear Ross to the supporters whose patience is already perilously thin.

Sheffield United v Sunderland AFC - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by George Wood/Getty Images