clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Wycombe Wanderers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

Filed under:

Talking Points: Was a draw a good result for Sunderland given the circumstances?

Sunderland took part in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Wycombe at Adams Park - do you think that could prove a crucial point in our promotion challenge?

Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

It may have been hard to take at the time... but was a point away at Wycombe a good result for Sunderland?

I think we can agree that we all felt sick when the ball landed perfectly for Joe Jacobson to tap in.

It was a cruel blow, an undeserved point, but a reminder that football does not always reward the best team on the day.

However, now that we’ve all had time to calm down and think it through, a point away at Adams Park with our third-choice goalkeeper playing and a massively depleted side was actually a positive result.

Of course, Sunderland should strive to win every single fixture at League One level, but when you look at our toughest away fixtures, that was certainly up there.

The club deserve respect for not cancelling the match and I think it shows a great mentality that we did not fear Wycombe. We have paid a heavy price for fixture congestion in previous seasons, so it was great to see the lads try their best in difficult circumstances.

We should have had the game buried early in the second half, but if Sunderland play like they did in that second half every week with a weakened side, you can bet that they will win most games at this level.

Wycombe Wanderers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Embleton was incredibly unlucky not to score yesterday through his effort that hit the underside of the crossbar.
Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Ross Stewart scored another brilliant hat-trick (don’t say it) - that’s now two in a row!

Just when you think you’ve seen the big man at his best, he goes and proves you wrong - Ross Stewart is absolutely clinical!

I feel as though every time I write talking points I have to mention him, the aerial duels, his work-rate, his movement in behind, not to mention his brilliant finishing, he was a joy to watch.

The first goal displayed his power in the air, the second his incredible movement in the box and the third perfectly displayed the damage he can cause running in behind defenders. It felt like time stopped as the ball slowly crept into the corner of the net!

He is one of those strikers where he doesn’t have loads of chances, but the ones he has he takes (excluding his late sitter that we can forget).

You have to give enormous credit to our new recruitment side for discovering a clinical forward who few Sunderland fans had ever heard of at such a great price.

I said it last week and I will say it again - Ross Stewart is the most indispensable player in this Sunderland team.

Alex Pritchard was brilliant once again and should have had a hat-trick of assists!

I think the most frustrated player in Adams Park was Alex Pritchard, who once again was absolutely immense!

At the beginning of the second half, our ex-Premier League playmaker excellently played in Corry Evans, Elliot Embleton and Lynden Gooch, all of who lacked composure and failed to convert.

Some of his passing was incredible, complemented nicely by some of his brilliant touches such as the back heel which caught the cameras.

The 28-year-old is continuing to show why he has played regularly at higher levels and should have been rewarded for his creative play.

He is an excellent outlet through his fantastic touch, movement and awareness of others on the pitch.

After a slow start in a red and white shirt, Pritchard has found form at the right time for Sunderland and like Stewart, he is becoming indispensable to this team.

Wycombe Wanderers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
How we all felt when none of Pritchard’s through balls were converted!
Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Anthony Patterson was called back under difficult circumstances to face Wycombe - how do you think he performed?

First and foremost, unlike the other two loan recalls, Patterson was given under two days' notice that he was starting in probably the most difficult away trip of the season for a goalkeeper given Wycombe’s incredibly direct style.

I think his performance showed elements of why he is not yet ready for regular top-end League One football, but also of the potential that he has.

Did he make some excellent saves and show bravery to come out for the collision involving Corry Evans - yes.

However, did he show a lack of physicality to command his area and struggle with the style required for his distribution - also yes.

When you look at the goals, the first one was a deflection that left him with no chance, no criticism required. The second was a clear foul or offside, take your pick, but I would say that he did look all over the place for that regardless.

Then we have the third goal which is just a pure case of bad luck, unless you were to be incredibly critical about parrying placement. Patterson made a close range save which unfortunately fell straight to a blue shirt, it could have landed to a red and white shirt on another day.

Overall, it is a case of bad luck that Sunderland had to recall Patterson given the unlikely occurrence of both Hoffmann and Burge being unavailable, but tell me a League One club with a better third choice than Patterson?

The reason he is on loan at Notts County is because the club believe he is not quite ready for the first-team, but that with exposure elsewhere he may be in future seasons.

We can’t expect no mistakes from academy players with less than 10 Sunderland starts to their name.

The 21-year-old is likely to start again against Lincoln on Tuesday night and I can honestly say I am less worried about him featuring than I was about Sunderland’s three goalkeepers during our last spell in the Championship!

Wycombe Wanderers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Yesterday’s draw was Patterson’s third start in League One for Sunderland.
Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Sunderland lost another player to injury in Corry Evans - should we still play against Lincoln or is it now too much?

In an accidental collision, Sunderland captain Corry Evans was stretchered off after losing consciousness and will likely be suffering from a concussion that will prevent him from playing on Tuesday night.

Having already had to recall three players just to field an 18, I think it is fair to say Sunderland have a massively depleted team and would be entitled to postpone.

However, given how well we played, is there any reason to?

I think a neutral would argue that Sunderland deserved to win for their second-half performance.

With Evans out, the likely change would be that Winchester returns to the centre, with Lynden Gooch at right-back, or Lee Johnson could hand a debut to Trai Hume.

Lincoln themselves only named 16 players against Oxford and lost key centre-back Lewis Montsma to injury early on.

I mentioned above about the dangers of fixture congestion and given that clubs could face an outbreak at any time, Sunderland have no control over who they face and when.

Even with our issues, we are on a great unbeaten run, have a striker who has scored two hat-tricks in a row and still have a very good 11 out at this level.

I personally would like to see the club continue to play as much as possible, unless circumstances really do become out of control.


The SAFC 365 Advent Calendar (Dec 7th): Seventh heaven at the Stadium of Light!


Fan Letters: “It may be harsh, but there’s logic behind Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland departure”


The Sunderland of 2023 is ruthless - much like modern football

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

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report