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Player Ratings: Sunderland 1-0 Crewe - Mackems efficient in picking up 3 points & clean sheet!

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Three things in life are certain - death, taxes, and Sunderland clean sheets. Another three points - job done! Here’s how Jimmy Lowson rated the Lads out of ten.

Sunderland v Crewe Alexandra - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

Lee Burge: 7/10

Looks to be growing in confidence.

His decision-making was flawless, came off his line quickly and assertively.

Conor McLaughlin: 6/10

A real mixed bag. Played a couple great passes, but also got caught ball watching, falling over and giving the ball away cheaply too.

Bailey Wright: 7/10

Missed a sitter from point blank range. He covered excellently for our two makeshift centre backs and passed at an elite level - until weirdly looking shook after the aforementioned miss. He started conceding bad fouls and giving the ball away in the final quarter.

Luke O’Nien: 8/10

Made one great last ditch block, and just like against Swindon, O’Nien simplified his game smartly just keeping possession and playing within himself in a new role.

Defensively he seems more suited to playing at centre back than on the wings - his tenacity and great leap make him a formidable opponent at centre half.

Lynden Gooch: 8/10

I’m not sure if right wing back is Gooch’s best position, but I’m not sure it’s not. His ability to create space and launch excellent crosses was an asset all night, best highlighted by the peach of a cross to set up the opener.

Grant Leadbitter: 7/10

Didn’t quite meet his usual standards, but his cross field passing and recycling of possession was on point as always. Leadbitter made some crucial interceptions too in a much more open second period.

Josh Scowen: 7/10

A real live wire - Scowen’s speed and speed of thought has added a new element to our attack this season. He linked up intelligently with Gooch and caused Alexandra problems in the final third.

Max Power: 7/10

Improved after the break, frustratingly Power couldn’t cap his performance with a goal. He squandered a great chance after the break, firing over. He used the ball intelligently and linked up smartly with a number of our attackers in the final third.

Denver Hume: 7/10

Overall it was decent showing from Hume, annoyingly he could have been even better. His pace and dribbling ability made a real impact, and he was unfortunate to see two excellent crosses well defended. The bad aspect of his game were one too many lazy passes and some weak one-on-one defending.

Chris Maguire: 7/10

A lively performance. Maguire’s off the ball work was superb again - he was probably the most involved attacker, finding space regularly in front of Crewe’s defence over and over again.

Charlie Wyke: 7/10

Caused havoc in the six-yard-box for the goal. Like Burge, it feels like Wyke is growing in confidence. His link up play was much improved, even if he squandered a few half chances.

(SUB) Aiden O’Brien: 5/10

His main involvement in the game was getting bullied by Omar Beckles after a poor touch.

(SUB) George Dobson: 6/10

Nearly set up a second goal when he slipped in O’Brien, didn’t do much else in a ten minute cameo.

(SUB) Tom Flanagan: N/A

Brought on to add extra height to Sunderland’s back line in the dying minutes.

Man of the Match

Luke O’Nien