Consistency has been key
The reason our last three games have felt so routine in terms of the all-round performance is, in my opinion, in large part down to the consistency in selection.
You can see partnerships developing all over the pitch, and the most crucial of those has been the one between our midfield trio of Grant Leadbitter, Lee Cattermole and George Honeyman.
Two of those men got themselves on the scoresheet, whilst Leadbitter was arguably man of the match - and was even awarded that accolade by our own James Lowson in our post-match Player Ratings.
The leadership of Cattermole combined with the coolness of Leadbitter and the energy of Honeyman just works, and it’s clear all three men enjoy a good relationship. Whilst I feel for the likes of Max Power and Dylan McGeouch, it’s hard to see how they break up this partnership so long as all three of the players in front of them stay fit.
The consistency of Jack Ross’ selections recently has ensured that, alongside a winning mentality, this team is improving every single week, people are honing their roles in the side and we’re seeing the goals shared around as opposed to relying on just one player to come up with the goods.
We’re in a fantastic position going into the next few games against Wycombe and Barnsley - let’s just hope the Lads can stay fit, keep improving and continue to drive towards our goal of automatic promotion.
Feel sorry for Grigg
It’s easy to point the finger and slate a forward when they aren’t scoring goals, but I just can’t do that when it comes to Will Grigg. It sounds clichèd, but he’s doing absolutely everything you want from a striker bar hit the back of the net right now.
His all-round game is excellent - he held the ball up well yesterday and did great in dealing with the long punts forward and balls into feet.
He lead the line well, gave the Plymouth defenders a torrid time for the mostpart with his movement, showed some real classy touches and gave a performance that definitely deserved a goal or two - so I really feel sorry for him in that he wasn’t able to convert some of the chances he had.
On top of that, right before he came off he was stood in a fantastic position, only for Duncan Watmore to completely waste the chance with his awful pass straight at the Plymouth defender when both Grigg and McGeady were stood inside the box waiting to receive it.
I’m fully confident that Grigg will start hitting the back of the net soon, and I’m sure that he has the full support of the fans who, having watched his performances since arriving, will hopefully acknowledge that he’s playing very well and deserves to get his name on the scoresheet more than he has done.
Luke O’Nien = cult hero!
Alright, it might be a little early to start labelling him a cult hero, but Luke O’Nien is a firm favourite with the fans - and it’s clear to see why.
We all know he’s never played right back in his career but, having been given a run of games in that position, it’s clear that he’s not only improving but also becoming one of Sunderland’s most important players.
His sheer determination to win a header was what led to our first goal, but beyond that he was fantastic both defensively and offensively when up against some good players - he’s not only working hard but is also backing that up with quality. He quite possibly has the best first touch of any player in the squad, and his ability to run on to, receive and then proceed with a long pass that has been sprayed out to him by one of our midfield players has became an important weapon in our forward play.
Barring injury, I just can’t see how the likes of Adam Matthews and Donald Love get themselves back into the team ahead of O’Nien before the end of the season. He’s first choice, and with good reason.