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Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship

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Two up, Two Down: What were the main positives & negatives from Sunderland’s performance v WBA?

Despite taking an early lead, Tony Mowbray’s side ended up on the wrong side of a 1-2 loss on Monday night. What were the positives and negatives from the game?

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Michael Dunne says...

Amad’s scoring run continues

One of the very few bright spots has to be the form of Amad.

His trickery, pace and creativity is key to our positive play and performances. His penalty was taken well and if it wasn’t for him, we were probably not going to be as close to winning the game as we were.

The imminent returns of Stewart and Ballard

Having Ross Stewart and Dan Ballard fit will be a boost.

Although Ellis Simms has scored goals, I still don’t think he brings as much as he should as a striker.

The ball doesn’t stick enough to him and he seems languid and lazy in his style. Stewart’s return is almost a necessity for me, and hopefully we’ll see him against Hull.

Poor home form

Our form at the Stadium of Light is nothing short of shocking.

We are a soft touch at home and teams doubtless come here confident of results. This is something that needs to improvise significantly in the second half of the season, especially if we’ve any hopes of a playoff place.

Questionable substitutions

Tony Mowbray was too slow to make changes and when he did make them, it seemed to cause more harm than good.

When Dennis Cirkin came on, I couldn’t understand how we were supposed to be playing or what system Mowbray was trying to set up.

It baffles me that Patrick Roberts isn’t getting more game time at the moment considering he has played quite well at times, and also that Mowbray seems to rate him.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Tom Albrighton says...

Amad continues to shine

I wasn’t sold in the slightest when he first joined, but how wrong was I?

It was another excellent performance from a man who didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. Tireless and full of endeavour, he’s always a threat with the ball at his feet.

Another good showing from a player who’s going from strength to strength.

Mowbray gets it wrong

It’s not a stretch to suggest a lot of the blame for the result lies with Tony Mowbray.

After a comfortable first half, we lost our momentum entirely and as Mowbray hesitated, Carlos Corberan didn’t. It was clear before conceding the first goal that changes were required and by the time they did come, any chance of regaining the momentum was totally lost.

Factor in some strange team selections in the first place and it's safe to say this is an occasion where Mowbray got it wrong.

Stop the cross!

It’s so basic but we didn’t do it all game and it cost us twice.

West Brom were one-dimensional in their attack with almost everything coming down the right-hand side. Being aware of our aerial weakness, allowing thirteen crosses into our area was always asking for trouble and Jed Wallace had a field day.

After the third or fourth dangerous ball, Wallace should’ve been in the stands but as has often been the case with Sunderland at home, softness has been our downfall.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Joseph Tulip says...

A promising first half

For much of the first half, we looked like a very good Championship side, creating numerous openings with some slick passing moves.

Perhaps we should’ve been more than a goal to the good by half-time.

We’re still a good side

I’ll get onto the debacle of the second half in a minute, but despite our shortcomings, we are still in the top half of the table with thirty points, and there is much more to come from this young and evolving Sunderland team.

An inability to kill the game off

We simply didn’t put the game to bed.

Our build-up play in the first half deserved better than a one-goal advantage at the break, but poor finishing and decision-making, and a bit of bad luck stopped us from putting West Brom to the sword.

Sadly, they came out strongly after the break and turned the game on its head.

Set piece struggles

Our inability to take advantage of corners and free kicks is restricting us to carving out well-worked goals from open play.

Although we’ve scored some great goals this season, we must improve at set pieces to boost our goal tally and take the pressure off our creative players to come up with the goods every week.

At 2-1 down, Danny Batth’s flick scraped agonisingly past the far post, and surely we’re due something from a corner soon?

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says...

The game went ahead

I think this was the anniversary of the abandoned game at Grimsby Town in 1993 and with the match being televised there were some real parallels. The weather was foul but I really don’t fancy another fixture pile-up given the stop-start nature of the season and have to give credit to everyone that worked hard to make the stadium and surrounding areas safe before kick-off. It was great to see the volunteers working hard for the SCSK too - it cannot have been pleasant standing around in those temperatures!

An encouraging first half

Once again we saw some really good football from Sunderland and we fully deserved to go into the break ahead. We looked assured and comfortable in our roles and decision-making for the most part - it was what happened in the second half that let us down.

Dropped points

As has been said already, there is room for improvement with our home form and dropping points having been leading for so long is always going to be hard to take.

A flat finale

West Bromwich Albion are seemingly in a false position and started to look good the more the game went on. That said, I was disappointed with the final few minutes and our inability to really throw the kitchen sink at them - I cannot think of too many chances that we created and that last period seemed to just drift away.

With people setting off early (understandably so for many) and the Lads struggling to lay a glove on Albion, the end was such a letdown in comparison to the start.

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