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Talking Points: Odd feeling despite the win & great goals - when will Grigg’s luck change?

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Now that the dust has settled, we’re looking at the key Talking Points emanating from Saturday’s win for Sunderland at Accrington. Despite the great goals there’s an odd feeling about our performance - and when will Will Grigg’s luck change?

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

Strange feeling, despite the win

It really is hard to feel disappointed with Sunderland coming from behind to win an away game 3-1, yet reading social media after the game it’s clear that not everyone was completely satisfied with what they saw from the Lads on Saturday down at Accrington.

At half time I remarked that it’s probably one of the worst halves I’ve seen so far this season from Sunderland, which seems mental to say considering we had scored three wonderful goals, but it was true - we were probably fortunate to have a two goal cushion, and the only real difference between the two sides was the quality at both ends of the park. Accy simply couldn’t convert their chances, nor could they keep us out at the other end.

There wasn’t a great deal between the two sides beyond that, and John Coleman can probably feel disappointed with the way the game panned out.

Ultimately though it’s an important three points on a weekend where many of our promotion rivals secured wins for themselves - and in the cases of Peterborough and Rotherham, they did so rather emphatically.

We needed to win in order to get over the Peterborough disappointment, and now we move on. Rotherham will be a tough test on Tuesday night and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them. Going into that game with the confidence of an away victory behind us could be vital if we hope to emerge from that contest with a win over a close promotion rival.

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

Grigg’s confidence will take time to rebuild

It’s becoming harder and harder with each passing game to keep the faith with Will Grigg, who came on from the bench and failed to convert yet another golden chance that you can almost certainly guarantee that he would have stuck away with ease if he was still wearing a Wigan Athletic shirt.

The way that the Northern Ireland centre forward snatched at what was an unreal opportunity to open his league account tells it’s own story - he’s lacking in confidence as a result of his inability to maintain the high standards he set for himself at other clubs.

Time will tell if Grigg will ever go on to be successful at Sunderland, yet you can’t help but feel that he has to start scoring goals sooner rather than later if he’s going to stand even half a chance. Right now he’s being kept out of the side by McNulty and Wyke, and with both men looking relatively impressive so far this season it’s hard to see how Grigg dislodges either of them from the side as long as he keeps missing opportunities like the one he failed to stick away on Saturday afternoon.

Importantly, Jack Ross will be patient with him and will allow Grigg the time that he needs to rebuild his confidence and become a success at Sunderland. Even if the fans lose faith in Grigg, you can almost certainly guarantee that the manager won’t until he feels he’s done everything in his power in order to get his star signing firing on all cylinders.

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

The quality of our goals

It’s said fairly often that Sunderland’s superior quality often gets them over the finish line in tight games at this level, and that particular theory was no more evident than it was on Saturday at the WHAM Stadium.

All three of our goals were really pleasing from an aesthetic standpoint, even if we did have a bit of good luck due to the fact that Accrington’s defence and goalkeeper were very poor.

Lynden Gooch’s diving volley won goal of the weekend across the EFL, whilst Aiden McGeady’s strike which put us ahead was evidence yet again that he has that special something which separates his talent from every other player in the division - and whilst Marc McNulty scored a tap in, the play which built up to it from Chris Maguire was excellent. We really cannot complain about our rate of scoring - now, we just need to try and tighten things up at the other end somehow!

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