Lee Burge: 6/10
The ex-Coventry keeper could not have done anything to prevent James Henry’s opener, but he succesfully dealt with the limited chances he was faced with saving.
Conor McLaughlin: 6/10
A mixed bag for the Northern Irish international, some good headers and passes were accompanied by a naive early yellow.
He was rightfully sacrified when Lee Johnson changed to a more attacking approach.
Dion Sanderson: 7/10
The Wolves loanee battled well against Oxford’s Matty Taylor, succesfully keeping Oxford’s top scorer quiet throughout the match.
Luke O’Nien: 7/10
A quieter match for O’Nien, but he did incredibly well to prevent Oxford going 2-1 up from a sliding tackle, which caused a second yellow for Mark Sykes. His late back-post header was also excellent in preventing a goal.
With Bailey Wright close to recovering you wonder just how much longer he will continue at centre-half, but he deserves credit for continuing to be reliable cover.
Callum McFadzean: 5/10
The ex-Plymouth full-back was fairly anonymous throughout the match. He was caught too high for the first goal and struggled to cope when isolated one-vs-one with Olamide Shodipo.
Max Power: 6.5/10
The captain put in some excellent crosses, but I feel he was too slow for the first goal and could have prevented the move taking place by committing a tactical foul on Brandon Barker. Sometimes it is worth taking the yellow!
It was not Power’s best match, but he gets extra points for an excellent late run and finish to seal the points.
Josh Scowen: 5.5/10
It was a typical industrious performance from Scowen, but he did not get on the ball enough to influence the match. If he wants to remain in the starting XI he has to do more to contribute to the match on the ball, rather than just off the ball.
Overall, our midfield two struggled to get a hold on the ball before Oxford were reduced to ten men and I believe Sunderland missed Carl Winchester.
Jordan Jones: 8/10
Everytime Sunderland looked dangerous it was through Jordan Jones. His dribbling was simply superb, the way he skipped past two Oxford players to assist Gooch’s goal was marvellous. He nearly scored a screamer in the second half when he hit the bar and it was a huge shame he had to come off. Sign him up Kyril!
Lynden Gooch: 5.5/10
I believe Gooch would have been substituted at half-time if it was not for his equaliser in added time. He worked tirelessly, but he struggled to get on the ball and make things happen. I do not think he did enough to keep Aiden O’Brien out of the team.
Aiden McGeady: 7/10
The Irishman started the match poorly and I was starting to feel like nothing he did was coming off, but as with all quality players, it only took one moment of magic for him to be the match winner!
It was not McGeady’s best performance by any means, but how important could that goal prove by the end of the season?
Charlie Wyke: 7/10
Our top scorer battled hard and tried to link play by winning headers, but he failed to get on the end of any crosses and never looked like scoring. It was one of those matches where he will feel he was starved of service, whereas the wingers will feel he should have done more to get on the end of crosses.
Wyke turned creator at the end of the match when he played a lovely throughball to Max Power to finish the match.
Ross Stewart: 6/10
Very nearly scored with his first touch! Stewart added a much needed prescence up top to help Sunderland push for all three points.
Chris Maguire: 6/10
The Scot had some excellent touches and contributed well to Sunderland’s pursuit of victory.
Grant Leadbitter: N/A
Brought on late into the match to sure things up for Sunderland.
Rate The Manager - 7/10
I felt Lee Johnson was wrong to drop Carl Winchester, but once again he changed the system which led to Sunderland achieving maximum points.
The substitution to remove McLaughlin for Stewart was excellent, it was a clear display of intent that he wanted to win the match.
Man Of The Match - Jordan Jones
The Rangers loanee was simply magnificent. His dribbling was a joy to watch and everytime he had the ball I felt confident something would happen, he is a must start against Posh on Monday!
If only that long-range strike had hit the underside of the bar.