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Harrogate v Sunderland - Pre-Season Friendly

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Matty’s Player Ratings: Harrogate Town 0-4 Sunderland - Easy work for Johnson’s silky Mackems

Sunderland played some nice football and scored some nice goals as they defeated League Two side Harrogate Town this afternoon behind closed doors. Here’s how Matty rated the Lads out of ten...

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Anthony Patterson: 6/10

Dealt with what he had to do well during the first half. It is fantastic to see him being given more first-team exposure.

Carl Winchester: 7/10

It is frustrating to see him covering at right-back two weeks before the season starts, but Winchester was tidy on the ball and made an excellent run for the third goal. You rarely see him give the ball away.

Callum Doyle: 8/10

First-class once again. I have already made my mind up that I would like to see the on-loan Man City defender start against Wigan. He wins his aerial battles, he is not shy to tackle and the way he steps in and distributes the ball is tremendous. The looks to be an excellent find by our recruitment team.

Tom Flanagan: 6/10

Steady. Flanagan was the quieter of the two defenders and easily the more passive on the ball.

Dan Neil: 6/10

Started the match poorly but he improved vastly in the second half, particularly when he moved into midfield. Credit to the 19-year-old for covering, but I felt Harrogate’s best chances came down his side in the first half. Having said that, I would prefer Lee Johnson to use proper left-backs rather than shoehorning players out of position.

Jack Diamond: 7/10

Incredibly lively. Diamond constantly looked to beat defenders and managed two shots on target in the first-half. He is always a handful when he is on his game.

Corry Evans: 7/10

Cool and composed. Evans looks so relaxed on the ball and rarely gives it away. He seems to be the experienced figure who can distribute the ball, a fitting replacement for Grant Leadbitter from his opening displays in a red and white shirt.

Luke O’Nien: 7/10

A real box-to-box display from the captain. It is fantastic to see O’Nien back from injury and playing in the position which we originally signed him to play. He moved the ball well and shown so much energy in his play.

Elliot Embleton: 8/10

Tremendous. Positive on the ball and always looked to make something happen. His first goal was delightful, he easily beat the Harrogate player before unleashing an excellent strike from range. His second was more fortunate given the deflection, but it was a reward for his positivity and bravery going forward. It is imperative that he stays at Sunderland.

Aiden O’Brien: 7/10

A typical hard-working O’Brien performance, but this time he provided the end-product many have been calling for. His assist for Winchester’s goal was excellent, however I would still like to see his shooting be more clinical.

Ross Stewart: 7/10

His movement is fantastic. The Scot is always looking to get in behind and cause problems. The only slight criticism is that you would like to see him scoring more goals, as he is yet to find the net during pre-season. He missed two one-vs-ones in the second half which you would have expected him to score.


Substitutes

Lee Burge: 6/10

Confidently claimed set pieces which was reassuring. You would expect him to start the season in goal but Patterson is certainly knocking on the door.

Ollie Younger: 6/10

Dominant in the air and looks like someone who could feature in upcoming league games for Sunderland this season.

Sam Wilding: 6/10

Steady once again. I could not say Wilding put a foot wrong when he was introduced.

Ellis Taylor: 7/10

Taylor’s dribbling was confident and aggressive which was excellent to see. His quick feet and dangerous cross caused the own-goal for Sunderland’s fourth.

Will Grigg: 6/10

Grigg had a minimal impact, but once again he came on when the game was all but finished. He really should scored late on when he missed a header from a great position.

Benji Kimpioka: 6/10

The Sweden Under-21 international looked sharp and provides Sunderland with pace up top, something which we lack. It will be interesting to see if he will remain involved or be loaned out.

Kenton Richardson: 6/10

The ex-Hartlepool man was caught out for Harrogate’s best chance of the match when Muldoon missed a one-vs-one. However, he should have had an assist from an excellent cross when Grigg missed late on.

Tyrese Dyce: 6/10

Very surprised to see that Dan Neil was played ahead of him at left-back, the ex-West Brom full-back put in a steady display.

Josh Hawkes: 6/10

He was brought on with little time to make an impact.


Man of the Match: Elliot Embleton

The 22-year-old scored two excellent goals and proved to Lee Johnson exactly why he deserves to be in the starting XI! He was direct with his dribbling, positive on the ball and always looked to make things happen. Embleton should be a crucial part of Sunderland's team next season.

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