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2 Up, 2 Down: The good, the great and the glorious from Sunderland’s convincing win at Lincoln!

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Will our panel even bother to search for negatives in a sea of positivity after Sunderland’s impressive victory at high-flying Lincoln? Let’s find out in this round of 2 Up, 2 Down - Let us know if you agree!

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

Jack Howe-Gingell says...

Two up...

The extra 10% factor - we were at it the whole game, as far as I’m concerned. Winning 50/50s, first to second balls, quick in the break, good pressing. That little bit of extra effort gave us this result, and propelled us to our biggest League win of the season. Our renewed determination has been a catalyst for breaking our poor run, and long may it continue.

Jack Diamond - I’ve been asking for what feels like years to give him a run in the starting eleven and back to back starts culminated in today’s showing. His mazy run gained us the penalty, and his goal was a joy to behold, bent into the top corner. It was a shame that he was replaced after a worry about a red card, but I hope he goes from strength to strength.

Two down...

Questionable defending - prior to opening the scoring, we were caught out twice leading to one on one opportunities for Lincoln. Poor finishing and some decent work from Burge prevented a goal on both occasions, but we need to cut out that kind of defending as it could have been a different game entirely had Lincoln scored first.

Burge’s kicking - I’m struggling to think of many negatives, but he seemed to miskick a lot straight to Lincoln players. Something to work on but ultimately not a concern today.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Lee Burge
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Philip West says...

Two up...

The first positive was the obvious: a 0-4 victory away from home, against one of the league’s form teams. I have to admit that I didn’t see such an emphatic scoreline coming (a draw would’ve been a decent result, I thought), so seeing the team play with such verve and attacking spark was as surprising as it was enjoyable.

Yes, it’s early days, and we will certainly have our difficult spells under Lee Johnson, but for the new manager, this was a fabulous way to signify your arrival, and lay down a marker for the remainder of the season.

The second positive was absolutely superb performances from Aiden McGeady and Jack Diamond. McGeady’s re-integration into the squad has been one of the talking points in recent weeks, and I was extremely sceptical about the impact he would have, but in fairness, he’s acquitted himself superbly since Johnson arrived.

Against Lincoln, he was exceptional, and his skilful performance was a major factor in our emphatic win. I’ve said that McGeady isn’t the answer to our problems, but if he can continue on the path he’s currently on, I’ll be delighted to admit that I was wrong.

As for Diamond? He made Phil Parkinson look like a prize chump, with a brilliant attacking performance and a sublime goal. This kid is a serious talent, and I’m sure Lee Johnson will have taken note.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Aiden McGeady
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Two down...

Picking negatives out of such an emphatic result seems harsh, but at a push, I think that Jack Diamond’s half-time substitution, after he found himself walking a disciplinary tightrope, was disappointing.

Had he maintained his discipline, he could’ve continued to run Lincoln ragged as the second half wore on. That said, he’s young, and he’s still finding his way, so perhaps some over-eagerness is to be expected from time to time. I’m sure that is something that can be sorted out with time.

A second negative? Only the fact that we didn’t come away having scored more goals! Had a couple of the second half chances been converted, we’d have really made the scoreboard operator work overtime and sent the fans into even greater levels of elation, but what the heck: a 0-4 away victory is never to be sniffed at, regardless of any missed opportunities!

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Jack Diamond
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Kelvin Beattie says...

Two up...

Going for some of the less notable positives, I think Charlie Wyke only committed one stupid foul today, its been doing my napper in for weeks his stupid fouls and giving the opposition easy exit’s. Wyke’s movement for both his goals was good too.

Also, the return to form of Wright, who looked assured and lively throughout the game, with good distribution, positioning and tackling.

Honourable mentions for Leadbitter, Diamond and Power who had his best game for a long while. Great bit of proper football for Diamonds goal.

Two down...

Flano continues to give these daft fouls away in our last third, with an attacker often near the touchline and his back to goal. His distribution gives me the shivers, although I will acknowledge his part in the 4th goal. What frustrates me most about these issues is they are surely skills that can be improved, which would make him a much better defender!

Scowen’s injury? He does a lot of work off the ball and arguably should have taken his chance for the great run he made, hopefully he’s not too badly injured, but Embo could get an opportunity if it is serious.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Josh Scowen going close for Sunderland at Lincoln City
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Gary Engel says...

Two up...

Jack is a Diamond. What a finish for his goal. We have been missing someone who can conjure something from nothing. McGeady rolled back time to cut through the retreating Lincoln side to play Diamond in but it wasn’t an easy chance to put away. It begs the question why these two have not been in Sunderland’s plans before now?

Sunderland on the front-foot, its quite damning that before today it was twenty-nine matches since we managed more than two goals, but the change in mentality is what we’ve been crying out for!

We are meant to be the shark in comparison to the other minnows, but the last two bosses have set the stall out to avoid losing games rather than seeking to win matches. From the work Johnson has put in within a week, he certainly appears to be different - with an ambitious, attacking style.

Lincoln City v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Aiden McGeady
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Two down...

Today was a test, we out-played one of the better sides. Going toe to toe with one of the heavyweights in this division. But will we still be able to pick sides apart who are more physically challenging, who’s game plan is to disrupt and park the bus on the goal line? That would be my query after perhaps one of our best performances at this level in three seasons.

My only other concern at this point is handling expectations and keeping up that same level of performance. A lack of consistency over the past ten years has led us to this point and we’ve had many false dawns in that time.

Some of those new managers have got Sunderland fired up again but we all know how short-lived those appointments were. So far, I think Johnson is probably the best manager the Donald ownership have appointed. But in Johnson’s own words, ‘one swallow does not a summer make’.