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Bolton Wanderers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

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What should be done to ensure Sunderland respond appropriately tonight?

Regardless of who is in the dugout tonight, what the hell should be done in order to ensure that Sunderland respond properly against a team that haven’t won in their last 12 games?

Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Tom Albrighton says...

Quite simply, Sunderland should roll the dice. If anything has been proven to us this last week is that there are several individuals in the squad who are not worthy of their place.

Whilst some players are tired and need taken out the firing line for their own good, others have simply done nothing to show why they should be included on Tuesday - rolling the dice should involve giving others a fair chance to stake a claim ahead of those who have proven they haven’t the heart or desire for the battle we are in.

Finally, the club have to use whatever time they have had between Saturday’s game and Tuesday for some serious introspection and to clear the air. Players have to look themselves in the mirror and ask if they have what it takes; if they can show their maturity; if they can grow up quickly enough; and if they have the arsehole to dig in for the rest of the season. This squad has shown he mentally fragile they are one too many times this season and now is the time for them to prove the fans wrong by turning the tide.

Oh, and we shouldn’t let Mike Dodds anywhere near it.

Sunderland v Doncaster Rovers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Neil Graney says...

We need a complete reset, and whilst it looks like no new head coach will be appointed, that means some brave decisions are needed.

We need to stop conceding so many goals. Whether Winchester was right back or right of a back three, it just didn’t work.

I’d stiffen up the midfield by playing an extra man in the middle. Matete looked great when he came on, and he’s obviously ready to contribute. Jack Clarke also caught the eye, and seemed to have confidence and bravery on the hall - something we are clearly lacking at the moment.

I’d take out Evans for Matete, then have Pritchard and Neil sat in front. In possession, those two are our best ball players, and with the extra protection of Matete, should be left to show their creativity. I’d then have Stewart flanked by Clarke and either Roberts or Dajaku for Embleton and Gooch.

There’s also a shout for Trai Hume to start at right back, again, if fitness allows.

Sunderland Unveil New Signing Trai Hume Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Martin Wanless says...

We need to do precisely what we should have done on Saturday – play Jay Matete, Patrick Roberts, Jack Clarke and Trai Hume from the start, play 4-2-3-1 and go all out to win the game.

Matete and Clarke – as well as Pritchard – were probably the only players to emerge from Saturday with any form of credit, and they simply have to start the game against Cheltenham. The team selection on Saturday was awful – no one at 2pm would have said ‘that’s a great team’ – and that needs to be rectified tonight.

We simply have nothing to lose by making some bold team changes – the last two games have been dire, and it’s an absolute no-brainer to make changes.

Sunderland Unveil New Signing Jay Matete Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Malc Dugdale says...

I think we should rotate, but rather than pick based on past perceptions let’s change the lens a bit? What have we got to lose after those last two results and performances?

Let’s stop thinking about the past and start thinking about the future. Let’s throw some of the new lads in from the start including Hume and Arby at the back, and Matete ahead of them.

Let’s back our midfield and attack signings and let them have a go out wide and up front, through Roberts, Clarke and by reintroducing Leon. Our midfield didn’t compete enough against Donnie and our width was ineffective. If those players from the last 2 games cannot change things up, let’s see if others can.

Let’s give the fans and the club a chance to see who is and isn’t up for it, by seeing who can play at a level that the team last Saturday and the one before can’t match. Let’s be straight, that isn’t a high bar for anyone to meet.

If we change nothing we learn nothing other than that our bench looks good on paper. You win nothing with a strong bench, especially if you don’t use it till you’re two down and 15 minutes into the second period.

Let’s have a go and show some passion and commitment for the shirt and the fans. We can still do well this season especially if others falter. We cannot falter much more or that won’t be the case, not even for the playoff berths.

Let’s at least go down swinging, and let’s start swinging now. None of these clubs should be able to compete with us. Let’s prove that is where we are headed to once again.


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