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Luton Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Two Up, Two Down: What are the big positives & negatives from Sunderland’s performance at Luton?

Despite conceding just before the break, the Lads rallied in the second half and grabbed an equaliser through Elliot Embleton. What did our panel make of the game?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says...

A fair result

A point stopped the slide in results, and I think we perhaps shaded the game.

Luton had some chances, but we played some good stuff and could’ve easily scored before we did. There was some decent approach play and more of a willingness to shoot, so Elliot Embleton’s tidy leveller had certainly been coming.

Having lost the last two games, both by two goals, the response was good, and I think we can go into the Huddersfield game in decent spirits.

Players returning

A growing injury list has coincided with games against some tough opponents, so whilst I haven’t been too worried about the dip in results, it would’ve been a shame to see our good start to the season wiped out.

Having Patrick Roberts and Ellis Simms back on the scene gives us options.

There was more variation to our approach play with those two players on the pitch, and I think the goal came from a free kick that was won after a quick ball out from Anthony Patterson to Simms. Hopefully weaker sides will struggle with that in coming games.

Falling a goal behind

Had we gone into the break level, I think we would’ve been favourites to go on and win.

The Lads looked stronger in the fifteen minutes before half time, and so to end the opening half trailing was a blow, particularly as it lifted the hosts after they’d lost to their local rivals last time out. I know that defeat was partially down to a sickness bug, but had we kept them out, the crowd might’ve grown restless.

I was pleased that we came from behind to get something, but having initially got a foothold in the game, I didn’t envisage us being in a position where it would be needed.

Jack Clarke ruled out

We went into the game with a few players close to suspension, and despite it getting feisty at times, it seemed as if we were going to get away with it for a little longer.

However, Jack Clarke’s late yellow card means that we will have to do without one of our form men, and that is a blow.

Patrick Roberts returning softens the blow, but our disciplinary record isn’t too clever and may cost us in the long run. Not all of the cards have been justified, but there is room to tighten up our discipline.

Luton Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - Kenilworth Road Photo by Rhianna Chadwick/PA Images via Getty Images

Malc Dugdale says...

Simms is back!

Although he only played for twenty minutes, having Ellis Simms back gave us a boost.

His hold-up play and ability to help us move up the pitch was a very welcome sight, so let’s hope he stays fit and has Ross Stewart beside him again soon.

Stopping the rot

After losing two on the trot, we needed something and when we went one goal down, concerns about another challenging day did pop up in my mind.

We battled back in the second half and either side could have nicked it in the end, which away at Luton is more of a compliment to us than a great result for them.

Not a full ‘bounce back’, but hopefully the start of an unbeaten run.

Some sloppy play

There have been times this season when we have shown our opponents how to play good football, but Saturday was very scrappy.

We played well at times but we need to do better with our possession and control. However, this was at a team who made the playoffs last season, so it wasn’t unexpected, and we prevented them from playing brilliantly at times, too.

Poor finishing

Amad had a good game, and he did shoot more than he has done recently, but his power and accuracy weren’t quite there.

We hit the post a couple of times and if we had converted one of those chances, we would’ve have taken all three points.

Having Simms back will help with that but we came so close, and we have to hope this can improve very soon.

Luton Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Mark Roberts says..

A decent away point

After falling behind at the worst time in the first half, we came out confidently after the break and were the dominant side.

Chances were created all game and thanks to Elliot Embleton’s quick feet, he netted with aplomb.

Amad impresses

He has previously looked tidy, but on Saturday, he appeared to be a bit more dynamic.

His interplay and movement continues to improve, and he is looking like he can add goals to his game, too.

I think there is a lot of potential for improvement with Amad- similar to Jack Clarke and Patrick Roberts, both of whom initially took some time to show their worth when they arrived at the club.

Individual first-half errors

This was almost a continuation from the second half against Burnley, with poor passing and a lack of communication, and especially during the first ten minutes when we could’ve been one or two goals down.

We rode our luck, defensive battles were lost, and somehow, between blocks and Anthony Patterson’s punches, we looked to have held out until Dennis Cirkin was turned inside out and the goal came.

Frustration for Michut?

He came on, passed to no-one, made one good run which ultimately led to nothing, and then I forgot he was playing.

Am I being harsh or are we spoilt with the signings of the previously-mentioned Amad, Abdoullah Ba, Aji Alese, and Jewison Bennette?

Is he playing because of his potential, rather than being the best option off the bench?

Luton Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images


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