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2 Up, 2 Down: The good, the bad and the grim from Sunderland’s home defeat to Portsmouth

Our panel of grumpy mackems attempt to give some positives AND negatives about Sunderland’s performance after they were given a royal dicking by Pompey on Saturday... what can you come up with?

Sunderland v Portsmouth - Sky Bet League 1 Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Jack Howe-Gingell says...

Let’s go for the positives first. Denver Hume seems to be getting better each week, and had a number of mazy runs. Plus, he put in two excellent crosses that someone should have knocked in. The only other I can think of is that I wasn’t sitting in the cold and rain to witness that. Small mercies.

On the negatives, how could I start anywhere else but Parkinson’s bench decisions. Portsmouth had us sussed as they pressed us high, and we had no Plan B at all, so he resorted to his usual baffling tactic of hoying all the strikers on. Completely lifting and minging tactically.

This, in combination with the sheer bluntness of our forward line, means we have an issue. Someone of actual ability would have had a hatful and it once again showed how Wyke cannot lead the line long term. Maguire was completely ineffective as well.

Sunderland v Portsmouth - Sky Bet League 1
Charlie Wyke scores for Sunderland to make it 1-1 against Portsmouth
Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Kelvin Beattie says...

Bailey Wright’s form is still a plus despite the fact Sunderland conceded more than one for the first time this season. He is a quality defender who generally uses the ball well. Hopefully he stays fit, and we can keep a settled back line to play alongside him.

The other positive is that this is our first defeat of the season, and League One is a marathon. Clichéd though it is, games come thick and fast – we get to put this one behind us on Tuesday night.

Onto the negatives, I was disappointed by the response from Parky to our midfield being outplayed. There was no plan B evident and it all got very messy and disjointed at the finish.

Max Power’s performance today bears some scrutiny. Slow, predictable passing, and he hardly won a tackle all game. His colleagues in midfield were not that much better, and we need to give credit to Portsmouth who were the best team, all bar a ten-minute period at the start of each half.

A disappointing performance in which, Hume and Bailey apart, nobody did themselves justice. Got to also say again that Grigg looks sharp and unless there is something we do not know, it is a mystery to me why he is not utilised more. Roll on to Tuesday night and get the Parky bandwagon moving again!

Sunderland v Portsmouth - Sky Bet League 1
Bailey Wright
Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Malcolm Dugdale says...

As most weeks, Denver Hume continues to be a great attacking outlet – he’s still young and is a real asset for the future. In terms of the defeat we can take hope in the fact that we played well in the five or six games before this and can do that again, especially against the majority of this league.

On to the negatives, and our team is one-dimensional and does not know what to do when the script doesn’t go their way in holding onto a clean sheet and scoring one of our half-chances. We have an inability to regroup and recover when challenged and that could scupper our promotion chances on its own.

Also, the bench Phil picked today offered no variation, despite the squad we have offering options including youth, creativity and pace. We need to stop assuming a good but fortunate result means we go that way again, especially when next time often continues with players out of position or rushed back to the team.

Each opposition team is a different challenge, and we cannot get out of this league leaving vital differentiators out of the match day squad. Bad day at the office but it’s putting it right that counts.

Sunderland v Portsmouth - Sky Bet League 1
Denver Hume
Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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