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Phil’s Player Ratings: Sunderland 2-1 Hull - illness-hit SAFC team finish preseason with a win

Lee Johnson’s plans to play his first team were scuppered by illness, but his side still managed to finish preseason with a win. Here’s how Phil rated the Lads after tonight’s game...

Sunderland AFC v Hull City - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Antony Patterson: 5/10

Made a couple of saves from shots which he would have been disappointed to concede from. However, although his distribution was good, he was caught in no man’s land twice and was lucky to not cost his side a goal. Cut out these mistakes in the second half and looked solid.

Carl Winchester: 7/10

Looked comfortable in an unfamiliar position, especially when tucking in and working the ball out to Gooch on the right flank. Switched to midfield after Younger’s introduction and got about the pitch well. Whilst I’d love to see his engine in midfield rather than to overlap, I’m not worried about him starting at full-back against Wigan. Came off with 15 minutes to play.

Tom Flanagan: 7/10

Did well one-on-one with the Hull forwards which helped to maintain Sunderland’s pressing and, although he sometimes looked to go long to Stewart too early during the first half, this improved during the second.

Callum Doyle: 7/10

Like his defensive partner, Doyle had the better of his opponents in one-on-one duels and hardly put a foot wrong defensively. Distribution was good throughout.

Dan Neil: 6/10

Did well considering he was playing both out of position and on his unnatural side, although his right-footedness limited his ability to get past Hawkes and meant most of our attacks came down the opposite side. Hopefully, a new left-back is signed soon so that we can see Neil back in midfield, where he played for the final half-an-hour and looked more comfortable.

Corry Evans: 6/10

Protected the defence well and was tidy in possession after a sloppy first 5 minutes. Went off at half time.

Luke O’Nien: 6/10

Won the ball back well throughout and used his energy to step forward and press alongside the attacking midfielders. Came off after an hour.

Lynden Gooch: 6/10

Gooch’s ability to receive the ball on the half-turn was a key part of our ability to turn defence into attack in the first half and the American combined well with Embleton on a couple of occasions. Went to left-back for the final 30 minutes and failed to get close enough to the crosser for the Hull goal but continued to look like a threat going forwards.

Elliot Embleton: 8/10

By far the most impressive player on the pitch in the first half. Frequently picked the ball up around the edge of the box and always looked to play in a fellow attacker including for Stewart’s goal. Despite choosing high-risk passes I can’t remember him giving the ball away. His impact faded slightly when moved further away from goal in the second half and was brought off after an hour.

Josh Hawkes: 5/10

Looked lively but was sometimes too keen to impress both in and out of possession, resulting in a number of cheap fouls and cheap turnovers of possession. Improved slightly in the second half and put in a good cross for Grigg’s winning goal.

Ross Stewart: 7/10

Took his goal well after making the type of run in behind which he made every time Sunderland won the ball back in the Hull City half. Stewart was quiet in the second period but the main thing is that he has broken his preseason duck going into the season. Came off with 15 minutes remaining.


Substitutes

Aiden O’Brien: 5/10

On for Corry Evans at Half Time. Typical O’Brien performance, ran the channels well but failed to create any clear-cut chances for his fellow attackers and missed a decent headed chance after good work from Diamond.

Ollie Younger: 6/10

Replaced Luke O’Nien after an hour and took Winchester’s place at right-back. Looked solid enough and, whilst he lacked Winchester’s threat on the overlap he was tidy enough in possession to be an option here when closing out a game. Made a good header just before the final whistle to maintain Sunderland’s lead.

Jack Diamond: 6/10

Replaced Elliot Embleton after an hour and looked lively when playing on the left once again. Put in a great cross for Aiden O’Brien who should have at least worked the goalkeeper.

Will Grigg: 7/10

Replaced Ross Stewart for the final 15 minutes and made a couple of tidy touches. Scored a poacher’s goal with his only chance to grab a win. Hopefully he can do the same a few times during this season.

Elis Taylor: 5/10

Replaced Carl Winchester for the final 15 minutes and played in a young midfield alongside Dan Neil, previous performances tell you he’s one to keep an eye on.


Man of the Match: Elliot Embleton

Assisted the opening goal and could have had a goal of his own were it not for a decent save by the Hull ‘keeper. Fingers crossed his introduction can reduce the creative burden on Aiden McGeady.