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Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League One

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Get the gloves off!

“It’s time for the coaching team to get tough, because we’ve all had enough. This squad needs to be read the riot act!” says a very ticked-off Jon Guy.

Sort yourselves out - Neil needs to shake this squad up
| Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

It’s Wigan next up for this battered and bedraggled side seemingly bereft of confidence, and with Alex Neil pulling out what little hair he has left. Knowing this season we’ll end up winning 5-0, but I won’t be holding my breath.

The more I see of Alex Neil the more I like him. After the latest disaster against Burton, he was fuming when he met the media.

While what goes on in the dressing room stays in the dressing room you only had to look at his face to get a good idea of what type of reception the team got when they trudged in after another game which defied the description of a performance.

The question I’m left asking is: what the hell goes on every day on the pitches at the Academy?

Let’s be fair, we are all absolutely baffled as to what the likes of Evans does during the week which makes Neil stick him in the midfield only to become a passenger on a matchday... though, the same can be said for far too many of the current starting eleven.

Where have the players that we saw tearing up sides at the start of the season gone to? They’ve seemingly been replaced by their identical twin brothers who spent their adolescence playing Super Mario while their siblings were carving a career out as professional footballers.

Bolton Wanderers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Neil though is having none of it. Tuesday saw a man who believes that he is being conned by his team and the tone of his interviews simply reflected the fact that he like the rest of us is sickened by the inept fare that the team is serving up in the pitch.

I have always tried to take the glass half-full view of the constant state of disappointment we all so often seem to be in, but even I am now looking through what is the bottom of an empty glass.

I’ve supported this club far too long to utter the words “we reached rock bottom” and I really don’t want to tempt fate but there has to be a reaction coming from this squad sooner rather than later.

They simply cannot continue to serve up this dross, although arguably Saturday’s opponents would not be the first choice as the side we would like to be facing in an effort to halt this slide.

We can only hope Neil has wised up to those who are Messi in training but mess up on match day. What we need is Neil to get his Alex Ferguson hairdryer out.

Many fans said that they were keen on Keane as he wouldn’t suffer any fools. This lot need a short sharp reality check, and I have a feeling Neil might be the man to provide it.

The message needs to be delivered that what we have all witnessed in the past three weeks is simply unacceptable. They need to take pride in the shirt they have the honour to wear, and start to live up to the expectations of the fans and the club.

If they can’t they know where the door is.

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