Luke O’Nien has found his position
For the second time in a week, Luke O’Nien was superb further forward as a ten. Many fans have called for Jack Ross to try the former Wycombe man in his natural position, and O’Nien’s tenacity, coupled with his sublime finish in Saturday’s game only continue to validate those claims.
His goal against MK Dons summed up everything Sunderland fans love to see in a player - passion, a bit of quality and a genuine desire to play for the shirt. There’s a reason Luke O’Nien is so popular with the fan base and it’s largely down to the pride he seems to have in wearing that shirt.
His endless energy further up the park seems to invigorate Jack Ross’ side, and his desire to get into the box gives Sunderland a whole new dimension. On another day Luke could have had a hattrick!
Joel Lynch is a class above
What the heck were QPR fans complaining about? Joel Lynch is a monster!
The defender followed his superb midweek performance at Sheffield United with another strong and uncompromising performance on his Stadium of Light debut.
He looks like the imposing, athletic defender we’ve been crying out for since the summer. The opposite of Tom Flanagan and Jack Baldwin, he never looks like losing the battle with his opponent. He’s also pretty tidy with the ball at his feet; knowing when to go long, but also when to keep it simple.
If Lynch and Willis continue to perform as well as they did yesterday there can be no doubt Jack Ross’ side will be picking up clean sheets much more often.
Jon McLaughlin - time to sit out?
Just what has happened to Jon McLaughlin? Previously seen as Mr. Reliable, he has looked a shadow of the player he was last term, and for some weeks now.
An impressive midweek performance from deputy Lee Burge meant the Scottish ‘keeper required a big performance and, unfortunately, he once again failed to impress. His mistake for MK’s goal was really poor and gave them the impetus to take the game to Sunderland, just as they looked dead and buried.
Jack Ross has hailed the importance of clean sheets over the past week, so for him to not continue with Burge after his midweek shut-out was a little hypocritical, and following McLaughlin’s latest poor showing surely it’s time to give the former Coventry City ‘keeper his opportunity?
Max Power taking the initiative
Max Power has returned to the side with a real bang - and we don’t just mean his thunderous strike!
His wonderful goal will inevitably take the headlines, but it was hugely enjoyable to see Power grab Saturday’s game by the scruff of the neck. We’ve been waiting a long time for the scouser to show us what we know he is capable of, and it’s great to see him getting on the score sheet regularly.
When the former Wigan Athletic man first joined the club last season he dictated the play but tailed off after an impressive opening few months. Thankfully, based on his performances this season, it appears he is back to his best.