Rich Speight says...
I’m not really content to see Sunderland sit back and invite pressure on again on Sunday.
We’re in need of points, and even though Palace are unbeaten in the Championship, we’ve got to give ourselves the chance to win. If you look at their league results so far, they’ve got an average of two goals a game. To get even a point we will likely have to score.
Their defence is notoriously their weakest area and they shipped four against Bristol City in the Conti Cup, but this is a new-look team that have only let in two in four games.
Putting them under pressure will be important, and attempting to control the game and keeping the ball in the middle of the park is going to be important.
In general, if we’re going to reach our stated goal of progressing a couple of places up the league from our ninth place finish last year, we need to beat some full-time sides - including on our travels - sooner rather than later.
So while a point would be good enough, attacking intent will be required to get it.
Ant Waterson says...
I’m in full agreement with Rich, to be honest. I don’t see why we need to fear Palace on Sunday. Yes they are a good side, and yes they’ve started well this season but we are a good side as well.
I would like to see us have a go against Palace on Sunday, the worry about playing for a draw as if you concede early, the game plan is out the window and it’s hard to adjust the mindset.
Saying that I don’t think Mel will be thinking about a draw on Sunday. We need to start winning games and I’m sure she and her backroom staff realise this as well. Palace will be a test but they are beatable. Let’s do it lasses
Graeme Field says...
I don’t think we’ll go there and play for the draw as such, but I think we would be happy to get a draw away to a side currently sitting third in the table. Sunderland manager Mel Reay will want to bring to an end a run of three consecutive defeats in the league. Reay quite rightly hasn’t been too disappointed at the start to the Lasses’ league campaign.
This is despite the team still looking for their first league win of the season, having played four league games to date. In all of those games, we’ve come up against fully professional clubs, with Sunderland only having a part-time setup. Although we’ve conceded nine goals so far this season, we’ve been okay defensively and have not been giving away lots of chances in games.
We’re a stronger squad this season, after the signings, we made in the summer, and will need to be at our best to win the game at Hayes Lane. We could possibly play with a 5-4-1 formation without the ball, but when we’ve got it, the full backs will be encouraged to get forward and cause the Palace backline problems.
We’ll also need to be clinical and take the chances that come our way, and we’ve got the quality to do it. So as I said at the start of my piece, we won’t play for the draw, but before a ball is kicked, we’d take it.