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Talking Points: After Lincoln debacle, how much time has Jack Ross got left as Sunderland boss?

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Now that the dust has settled, we look back at the Lincoln performance and pick out the key Talking Points - including why Sunderland must part ways with Jack Ross, why Jon McLaughlin needs to be dropped and why our lack of pace is hindering us.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

McLaughlin must be dropped

Many fans have been banging the drum for Lee Burge to start in goal for Sunderland, and that particular beat is just getting louder by the week.

I’m trying not to overly criticise players because no matter what level you’re at, mistakes are a natural part of the game - especially in goal. However, Jon McLaughlin’s error for Tyler Walker’s opener on Saturday was amateurish at best, horrific at worst.

Quite what he was complaining about is anyone’s guess.

In truth, Jon McLaughlin is a very good goalkeeper and has won Sunderland many more points than he has lost, but you’re only as good as your last game and, frankly, I can’t tell you when his last good one was. He’s so off form, it’s frightening. He needs to be moved out of the team until he regains some confidence, for everyone’s sake.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Another game without a clean sheet

Yesterday was our 11th game of the league season and yet we are still to see a clean sheet in League One, which is quite frankly appalling for a team aiming for automatic promotion.

We are now eight points behind league leaders Ipswich Town, but perhaps more damning is the fact we’ve conceded NINE goals more than the Tractor Boys, which shows you just how much work is to be done if we are to stand any chance of automatic promotion.

Perhaps if we were the most fluid attacking team in the league, you could make a case for the amount of goals we concede, but we’re anything but, so how exactly does Jack Ross fix it?

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Lack of pace is hindering us badly

Yet again, Sunderland’s lack of pace throughout the side was exposed at Sincil Bank.

Sunderland’s team is severely lacking in both pace and aggression, and it was embarrassing the number of times Bruno Andrade got around the back of our defence. In truth, Michael Appleton’s side tortured our back-line continuously.

We lacked energy in the middle, Max Power and Dylan McGeouch were bullied by Joe Morrell and Michael O’Connor and were second to every ball. There’s not a great deal Ross can do about it till January, but the failure to address this in the summer is hindering us once again.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

How much time has Jack Ross got left?

Sunderland fans have desperately wanted Jack Ross to succeed at this job. Tired of the managerial merry-go-round and lack of direction, sustainability was an ideology we could unite behind. Teething problems would come as a crisis club that had hit rock bottom following back to back relegations. We expected our rise from the flames to be more of a slow-burn than a full-blown blaze, and everyone acknowledged it.

Now he’s 15 months into his stint on Wearside and it’s clear Jack Ross and Sunderland aren’t working in harmony. The relationship between Ross and the fans isn’t fractured - it’s completely broken.

Ross has shown frustration with fans expectations, and in turn, fans have become disillusioned with his demeanour and style of play. Both sides have a good argument but, most importantly, neither are working in tandem and performances on the pitch are going from bad to worse.

Jack Ross isn’t a bad manager. I saw the magnificent job he did at St. Mirren and I am certain he will learn from his experience at Sunderland and go on to do fabulous things somewhere, but it’s not working at the Stadium of Light and we both need to part ways.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images