clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Will Sunderland have a more defensive approach at Portman Road to improve our away form?

Only seven sides have conceded fewer on the road than us, so will Lee Johnson play it safe or throw caution to the wind against an Ipswich side struggling for form?

Malcolm Dugdale says...


If we demonstrated anything in our last win against Plymouth it was that sometimes our best form of defence is attack, especially while our back line is so decimated with injury.

Though we may have one or two other defensive options this weekend, with Hume and Arby the most likely to make the bench at least for me, if we play like we did for the first 15 minutes last Saturday there isn’t a team in this league that will keep us out.

The time for defensive robustness and clean sheets is when we have our rear guard back at close to full strength. It isn’t really reasonable to expect a string of shut outs until that happens, so my hope is we either get Gooch back as was (or we find a way to play the same way with others, maybe Hume) and we fly out of the blocks as per the Argyle game.

This game can be done in the first half too, so let’s go at them and show them we can out score Barrow, even at their gaff. COME ON!!

Sunderland v Manchester United U21 - Papa John’s Trophy
Denver Hume
Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Gav says...

I think he has to take the game to Ipswich. We’re playing such wonderful, free-flowing football that it makes no sense to me to change to adapt to a side who are in bad form, and who are likely expecting to be run ragged by our high-pressing, hard-working front line.

We can’t ignore our defensive issues though, and I’d be looking to get Denver Hume in at left back if he is fit enough - even if he only plays an hour or so. It would give us some balance which will be important, particularly given our wide players like to stay high up the pitch.

Let’s have a right good go at them!

Tom Albrighton says...

At this juncture I can’t help be think throttling down the attacking intent of this side would be an error should we decide to pursue clean sheets, be it away from home or not.

The statistic itself isn’t of a worry too, when we consider 4 of those goals were shipped in the monsoon at Fratton Park.

Clean sheets in this division, to my mind anyway, represent a false economy and therefore shouldn’t be idolised or fawned up. It’s by it’s very nature that the third tier to league football is to be plagued by inconsistency and individual errors. A lack of ability in this division gives way to hard work too, so when seen together these two factors indicate precisely why clean sheets aren’t a primary concern should the side continue it’s free-scoring run.

Johnson’s concern or therein current lack of should be maintaining out attacking intent as teams will soon take note of our ability to score with aplomb and naturally sit in and try to grind a result out via over defensive means. As previous seasons have shown our fascination with clean sheets has rarely born fruit and come at a cost further down the line, so until the goals dry up Johnson may better be served applying his focus elsewhere

Sunderland v Morecambe - Sky Bet League 1 Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Joseph Tulip says...

I think Ipswich are there for the taking, but like all other teams in League One, we must give our opponents the respect they deserve. We have plenty of natural attacking flair within our ranks at present, and will undoubtedly cause problems for the home defence at Portman Road.

The goals we have conceded away from home has been a concern but we must approach this game in the same way that we did against Plymouth last Saturday - press them high with intensity and a level of hunger which shows we mean business in this division.

For me it is vital that Carl Winchester remains in midfield to give us that bite and protection for the back line, regardless of which formation Lee Johnson chooses to play. Even with makeshift fullbacks or wingbacks, I have every confidence that we can be solid as well as effective going forward as we approach this crucial festive period.


Starting XI: It’s time for Doddsball! Is this the team that Mike Dodds will pick v Swansea?


Score Predictions: Can Mike Dodds and Sunderland see off the Swans?


On This Day (24th February 2007): Miller’s late heroics send Sunderland fourth!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report