On a successful evening at Fratton Park last week we saw Charlie Wyke and Jordan Jones bag the goals, but unfortunately, Jones walked away with a tight hamstring after the game.
Sadly, the former Kilmarnock winger missed the one-off game at Wembley for the Papa John’s Trophy Final on Sunday, where Sunderland reigned victorious after winning 1-0, with American forward Lynden Gooch - coincidentally, after being brought into the side to replace Jones - scoring, and the in-form Aiden McGeady coming up trumps with a great through ball assist to officially end the Wembley curse once and for all, after many years of hurt at the national stadium for the Sunderland supporters.
Unfortunately, with no news regarding where Jones is at from Lee Johnson, some fans are starting to question when he will be back, as he is one of the most valuable players we have in our side this season, and keeping him fit and on the pitch could be huge for our promotion hopes.
Whilst it appears that Denver Hume will soon return, adding another string to Lee Johnson’s bow, questions have arisen over who should fill in on the right-hand side in Jones’ absence.
Diamond? Maguire? Maybe even Ross Stewart, after playing great on his debut against Accrington Stanley? Stewart scored a fantastic header to open the scoring, his first goal in his first game having spent the best part of two months out injured since arriving from Ross County. He’s shown some promising stuff with his debut goal and performance, but will he make an unconventional replacement for Jones in the starting eleven over the coming weeks?
While Sunderland currently sit third in the League One table, we need our best players to be fit and ready to win, and make that our promotion battle is successful this season.
We’ve had many disappointments in the past, what with not managing to get promotion in the two campaigns prior to this one, but this season, this moment, is our opportunity to show that we won’t tolerate another year at this level.
We need to target maximum points from all our upcoming games, which is certainly achievable with the quality that we have in our squad, but will we miss Jones whilst he sits out on the sidelines through injury? Hopefully he won’t be gone for long and, as Wednesday’s win showed, we do have the quality in our ranks to plug the gaps where necessary, and to freshen things up as the games come thick and fast.
We will have to wait and see what Sunderland have in their locker for the next upcoming run of games, with a tasty fixture against fellow promotion-chasers Lincoln at the Stadium Of Light on Saturday. Can we manage to get ANOTHER win from them this season and, if all the results go our way, get ourselves into second place in the table, snatching that spot from Peterborough?
Anything is possible and, the way we’re playing right now, you wouldn’t bet against us.
Ha’way the Lads!