1: Jon McLaughlin (SR) - McLaughlin has now been top of this chart five times, more than any other player - he’s been our best player this season and it’s not particularly close.
2: Aiden McGeady (8) - Back in the top three after a brilliant individual goal on an afternoon where his teammates never really looked like scoring. It was a timely reminder of McGeady’s individual quality and how he can affect games.
3: Reece James (SR) - Spends a second week at third after an impressive display at left-back - the ex-Wigan Athletic man was comfortably Sunderland's best defender against AFC Wimbledon.
4: Luke O’Nien (SR) - Made a real difference when introduced as a late substitute against the Dons, without O’Nien’s ability to harry defenders and win fouls, the final quarter of Saturday’s match could have been much more tortuous.
5: Lewis Morgan (NR) - Debuts at five after an extremely promising debut. Morgan looks capable of bringing the unpredictability and turn of pace Sunderland’s attack has lacked in recent months.
6: Grant Leadbitter (NR) - Enters the rankings at six after a successful return home to Wearside. Leadbitter’s passing range and leadership should be a real asset in the promotion run in.
7: George Honeyman (17) - Flitted in and out of Saturday’s game, but Honeyman’s ability to link play was evident. Whether Ross continues to play him as an advanced midfielder or looks to partner him with Leadbitter will be fascinating going forward.
8: Adam Matthews (18) - Back in the starting line-up and back in the top ten. Matthews was as guilty as any Sunderland defender of switching off against League One’s bottom team, but he did show glimpses of his excellent technical quality.
9: Max Power (7) - Drops two slots after a respectable if unspectacular performance. Power’s position in the starting 11 could be under threat as Ross seeks a solution to Sunderland’s stuttering attack.
10: Duncan Watmore (14) - Climbs into the top ten after a brief but impressive cameo against Wimbledon, and a winning goal against the Manchester City Under 21s in the EFL Trophy.
11: Jimmy Dunne (5) - Falls out of the top ten after a worrying performance against Wimbledon. Dunne’s lack of composure was concerning considering how often Sunderland have to build attacks out from the back.
12: Dylan McGeouch (6) - An unused sub in the league again - McGeouch was one of Sunderland’s better players in the Checkatrade Trophy, but appears to be slipping down the midfielder pecking order due to the return of Honeyman and the Leadbitter signing.
13: Jack Baldwin (10) - Another surprise omission on Saturday, with Flanagan being preferred to partner the left-footed Dunne at the heart of Sunderland’s defence.
14: Chris Maguire (11) - Originally left out of Sunderland’s 18-man squad against AFC Wimbledon before Lynden Gooch’s last-minute withdrawal, and like McGeouch new signings and players returning from injury has led to Maguire falling out of contention.
15: Tom Flanagan (12) - Falling down our rankings and not playing well, Flanagan’s undoubtedly a talented, hard-working defender, but whether it’s concentration lapses or being outmatched physically, he’s in a real slump at the moment.
16: Lynden Gooch (13) - A late withdrawal from the starting 11 due to “family reasons” - hopefully all goes well for the Gooch family and the American is ready to return to work for our trip to Oxford.
17: Lee Cattermole (15) - Missed the Wimbledon match after picking up an ankle injury in training, Ross told the press he’s unsure whether the former captain will be fit for the club’s clash with Oxford United.
18: Bryan Oviedo (16) - Still a Sunderland player after his move to West Bromwich Albion wasn’t completed on time. To make matters worse the gaffer couldn’t find room for Oviedo in his matchday squad on Saturday.
19: Kazaiah Sterling (NR) - It’s hard to know what Sunderland have in Sterling, the 20-year-old has great pace and looks to be direct and aggressive in everything he does on the pitch, however it’s hard to tell whether Sterling will figure out how to play at this level in time to be a real asset during his loan spell.
20: Charlie Wyke (9) - With a long break to prepare for facing Wimbledon there were high hopes for Sunderland and Wyke, in particular, to reassert themselves and raise their performance. Both were found badly wanting. Saturday was disastrous for the 26-year-old he looks well short of the quality needed to lead a promotion campaign.
21: Benji Kimpioka 22: Robbin Ruiter 23: Alim Ozturk 24: Bali Mumba 25: Glenn Loovens 26: Denver Hume 27: Jack Bainbridge 28: Donald Love 29: Jake Hackett 30: Lee Connelly 31: Jack Diamond 32: Brandon Taylor 33: Jordan Hunter 34: Daniel Neil 35: Will Grigg 36: Max Stryjek