1: Chris Maguire (8) - Top in a week where he was one of a few players who weren’t completely mediocre. His fitness and sharpness will undoubtedly be a key factor in if Sunderland manage to succeed in the play-offs, so it was nice for him to get a goal - even if it did come from the penalty spot!
2: Max Power (5) - Like Maguire he was one of only a few who not only kept their place, but also didn’t play totally terrible. I’m not Power’s biggest fan but I feel he’s been one of the players who can keep their chins up while results on the pitch haven’t necessarily been particularly great over recent weeks.
3: Alim Ozturk (6) - The big Turkish defender has really grasped the opportunity to come back into the side since he was afforded a chance. It’s such a shame that his partner in defence for the last two games has been so utterly useless because he’s deserved a few clean sheets for his no-nonsense style of play.
4: Luke O’Nien (3) - Whilst he didn’t start the game I thought he helped spark us into life when he came on. O’Nien could do with spreading some of his energy and enthusiasm around his slightly more drained and weary teammates ahead of the play-offs.
5: Jon McLaughlin (4) - Another game where he’s conceded a couple of goals but couldn’t really have done much about them. McLaughlin is a top keeper for this level and must be so frustrated by the fact some of his teammates in front of him routinely struggle to defend time and time again.
6: Charlie Wyke (9) - Didn’t actually play too badly at all and he should start the next game. Won us the penalty and you could argue that he should have been awarded another.
7: Lee Cattermole (1) - Didn’t feature at all, but due to virtue of the fact so very few Sunderland players actually played well at Southend he remains in a solid position.
8: Lewis Morgan (2) - See above. Morgan wasn’t given a run-out but will surely start against Portsmouth in some capacity after others failed to mount a serious case to play ahead of him in the remaining games.
9: Aiden McGeady (7) - Again, like the two men ahead of him, McGeady retains a top ten spot despite being rested in recent games. He’s been wrapped in cotton wool and rightly so - he’s likely to be Sunderland’s key player when Portsmouth visit the SOL on Saturday.
10: Dylan McGeouch (16) - Was great to see him back in action after a short while out through injury. If Jack Ross has any sense he’ll play McGeouch next weekend - he was Sunderland’s best player before he dropped out through injury and our midfield always looks loads better when he plays. Nobody else does the job of defensive midfielder better!
11: Kazaiah Sterling (19) - Jumps several places after an energetic cameo appearance. Sterling has yet to really show us what he’s capable of but with so few of our players possessing genuine pace it may well be that he has a role to play in how Sunderland’s season ends.
12: Denver Hume (17) - Rises after returning to the side after a spell out. That left back spot really is up for grabs and it’ll be interesting to see who Jack Ross trusts to play in the big games. At Wembley against Pompey it was Hume that sparked Sunderland in to life, and that could be a factor in whether he starts next weekend.
13: Bryan Oviedo (10) - Made the bench but wasn’t used - as the most experienced of the three available left backs it could be that he’s given the nod against Kenny Jackett’s men.
14: Jimmy Dunne (11) - Another who made the bench but must be wondering if he’ll have a place in this Saturday’s starting eleven. He’s the most logical partner for Ozturk given they played well together for a few games the other week.
15: George Honeyman (13) - Sunderland’s captain wasn’t even on the bench this weekend, though you can expect he’ll feature at some point in the play-offs. Hasn’t been good enough for a while now and is perhaps one of the players who needed to be taken out of the firing line to ensure they’re sharp enough to make an impact in our double header.
16: Grant Leadbitter (15) - Was given a chance to show why he should start in the remaining games but did little to impress - was sloppy in and out of possession. His saving grace may well be that we’ve missed his set-pieces, one of our greatest offensive weapons since his arrival.
17: Adam Matthews (20) - Was totally unimpressed by the former Celtic man, who may well have played his last ever game for Sunderland. O’Nien will surely get the nod ahead of him.
18: Will Grigg (14) - Largely ineffective since his big money move in January, but he can change everyone’s perception of him if he produces the kind of match-winning performances in the play-offs that he was brought to Sunderland to produce.
19: Tom Flanagan (12) - Hard to defend Flanagan when he looks so woefully out of his depth. Ross should have done him a favour and took him out of the team at Southend but he didn’t, and the result was that his confidence took a further hammering.
20: Lynden Gooch (18) - Should be behind a glass box which should only be broken in case of emergency. Gooch should be a last resort if his performances since signing a new contract are anything to go by - has gone from being described as a ‘League One cheat code’ to a player who makes you groan whenever he touches the ball.
21: Lee Connelly (31) - Enters the fray for making the bench last Saturday. He’s been the most impressive player in our U23s side for a few months now and deserves his chance to gain the experience of being around the senior players.
22: Benji Kimpioka 23: Reece James 24: Duncan Watmore 25: Robbin Ruiter 26: Bali Mumba 27: Jack Baldwin 28: Glenn Loovens 29: Jack Bainbridge 30: Donald Love 31: Jake Hackett 32: Brandon Taylor 33: Jordan Hunter 34: Daniel Neil 35: Max Stryjek