Lee Burge: 7/10
Barely had a save to make and was largely a spectator for what was an attritional low quality match-up, but did what he had to do well.
Dion Sanderson: 7/10
The one bright spark in a miserable first half. Sanderson looked sharp and confident carrying the ball forwards despite being shifted out-of-position onto the left-hand side.
Bailey Wright: 6/10
Made a couple crucial tackles towards the end of the first half, but still not at his swaggering best.
Tom Flanagan: 6/10
Comically shanked one pass out for a throw-in, but was relatively solid outside of that, making decent interceptions and competing ably against a physical frontline.
Conor McLaughlin: 4/10
Tried to play an intentionally risk-averse match on a poor pitch, but even when considering that choice of strategy, McLaughlin was still disappointing. Every forward pass he played was overhit and the one time he showed a semblance of ambition he lost the ball running into traffic.
Grant Leadbitter: 6/10
Sunderland’s best player in the opening half hour, producing two ridiculous passes and showing great tenacity and instincts defensively. Annoyingly our club captain regressed from there, often wanting too much time on the ball, conceding possession cheaply.
Max Power: 4/10
A concerning showing. Power’s final ball and play in the opposition half just wasn’t good enough. Power also continuously bailed out the Northampton defence by running into needless fouls in their third.
Josh Scowen 3/10
Same old story with Scowen, he pops up in great areas but then shows no composure or quality in the opposition box. He was also fortunate to escape a first half sending off for two cheap fouls in quick succession.
Aiden McGeady: 5/10
As impressive as McGeady’s ability to manipulate defenders and create space is, it doesn’t actually amount to much when he gets his final ball wrong every time.
Jack Diamond: 6/10
A real mixed bag. Diamond was guilty of giving the ball away far too often in the first half. He improved greatly after half time and started to find space as the game became more stretched. It was slightly surprising to see Diamond removed midway through the second half.
Charlie Wyke: 3/10
Like Scowen, Wyke’s quality in the box was massively lacking, he missed a point blank header early on, and struggled to link up with teammates on the other occasions he had possession in good areas.
(SUB) Chris Maguire: 5/10
Played one great ball to release McLaughlin, he also picked up a needless booking for an absurdly late challenge on the Northampton left back.
(SUB) Lynden Gooch: 5/10
Struggled find space and impact the game being brought on to play in a more central area than usual.
(SUB) Aiden O’Brien: N/A
(SUB) Danny Graham: N/A
Man of the Match: