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Player Ratings: Oxford 0-1 Sunderland - Here’s how the Lads rated after hard-fought away win!

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Sunderland defended their early lead resolutely to claim another important three points today, winning 1-0 against Oxford. Here’s how it went, and how our man watching the match rated the players this afternoon.

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

Jon McLaughlin: 8/10

Solid enough and claimed the majority of crosses that found their way into the Sunderland penalty area, though naturally he struggled to kick accurately in the difficult conditions.

Jordan Willis: 9/10

Lovely headed goal to get the game going. His defensive work was great - made an important diving tackle to stop a cross that would have most certainly resulted in an Oxford goal not long after he scored.

Bailey Wright: 9/10

This fella lives to kick and head the ball. Some fantastic whole-hearted defending to ensure he did his job to the best of his ability, particularly when we were under the cosh for a lengthy spell in the first half of the game.

Tom Flanagan: 9/10

He’s definitely growing into his role on the left of the three. Bailey Wright certainly seems to be bringing out the best from him.

Luke O’Nien: 7/10

Worked tirelessly hard as always. Perhaps one slight criticism is that his end product could have been better in the final third, but all in all it was your typical Luke O’Nien performance.

George Dobson: 7/10

Perhaps he doesn’t get enough credit for his aerial work - his heading when under pressure seems to get us out of sticky situations often and, like O’Nien, he worked tirelessly. I’d like to see him offer more in the final third but in games like the one today, away from home, you need your central midfielders to graft hard - and he did that.

Max Power: 7/10

He’s really grown into the captaincy role and seems to thrive off keeping the rest of our players on their toes. Got stuck right in and did his utmost to keep Cameron Brannagan quiet.

Denver Hume: 6/10

Can’t say that he did a lot wrong but we’re starting to see something of a lull in productivity from Denver. His crossing needs to be better, and more of his great dribbles forward need to result in us creating chances. Otherwise, he was solid enough.

Lynden Gooch: 5/10

Through no real fault of his own he struggled to have an impact on proceedings, largely due to the fact we played so deep and, thus, didn’t attack Oxford as regularly as we did in the previous two games.

Chris Maguire: 7/10

Sunderland’s most productive attacker grabbed himself another assist - now there’s a shock! Great to see Maguire’s transformation from midfield maverick to a super-fit team player who plays knowing the importance of his off the ball work. Was often at right back producing tackles and clearances and won us free kicks. Very impressive.

Charlie Wyke: 3/10

Nothing really stuck and he struggled to compete in the air against the Oxford defenders. When Maguire got us into a dangerous position not long after the hour mark, Wyke’s run was poor and stopped and chance we had of scoring. Also missed a decent header which he should really have buried with about 15 to go. One of those performances which makes you scratch your head and wonder what it’s going to take for someone else to get a run of games up front.

(SUB) Josh Scowen: 6/10

Brought on the shore us up early in the second half after Oxford began to really pepper us with crosses. Played his part in tightening things up for us.

(SUB) Kyle Lafferty: 6/10

Came on in the 86th minute for Maguire in order to give ourselves a chance of reclaiming our long clearances, and to put the Oxford defence under a bit of pressure.

(SUB) Alim Ozturk: 6/10

Carried on where Wright left off.

Man of the Match

Jordan Willis