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Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland - Carabao Cup - First Round - Hillsborough

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Two Up, Two Down! Sunderland slump to league cup defeat at Hillsborough

A much-changed Sunderland team exited the Carabao Cup after a sluggish performance against Sheffield Wednesday. What were the negatives and positives (if any) from our evening’s work?

Photo by Isaac Parkin/PA Images via Getty Images

Kyle Garrett says…

Two up!

Minutes for the players

I don’t think Alex Neil cared at all about this game, which was demonstrated by his substitutions.

We got minutes into the legs of the players that needed it, and maybe it gave the recruitment team a kick up the backside as well.

Jack Diamond

He’s rapid, isn’t he? Probably the only player in red and white that can come away from that with any praise.

Two down

Our performance

We were rubbish!

Squad depth

We need players.

The lads on the pitch looked weak and didn’t take the opportunity that could’ve posed Alex Neil a few questions.

Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland - Carabao Cup - First Round - Hillsborough Photo by Isaac Parkin/PA Images via Getty Images

Mitch Marshall says…

Two up!

We’re out of the cup

Alex Neil’s team selection showed that the club isn’t particularly bothered about repeating last season’s formula of being knocked out of the Carabao Cup by a vastly superior Premier League team after playing a run of enjoyable, but ultimately unnecessary games.

Defeats alway hurts, but I suspect Neil won’t be losing too much sleep over this one.

Some young players getting a chance

It was nice to see a couple of youngsters get time on the pitch in a competitive first team game.

In view of the performance of apparently more senior players, Michael Spellman and Caden Kelly might as well have started, but it was enjoyable to see their enthusiasm late in the game.

Two down

Points left unproven

You would hope that the players in our starting eleven, such Aji Alese, Luke O’Nien and Patrick Roberts would take every opportunity available to them to make a positive impression on the manager and the fans.

That just wasn’t the case, and if anything, the lack of commitment to winning, regardless of whether we really wanted to win or not, has raised doubts about the squad rather than giving the manager a selection dilemma.

A meaningless competition?

I probably agreed with the approach from Alex Neil, overall.

It’s sad, though, that English football keeps up the pretence of games like this being meaningful to the extent that 1,005 Sunderland fans actually travelled to South Yorkshire for this match.

I hope they had a good night out, because even watching this fixture on TV felt like a waste of time. How that cup-tie malaise can be fixed is another question.

Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland - Carabao Cup - First Round - Hillsborough Photo by Isaac Parkin/PA Images via Getty Images

Kelvin Beattie says…

Two up!

Effort from Diamond

One of the few players who can hold his head up, Jack Diamond grafted for the full ninety minutes.

We saw evidence of his blistering pace, and he can feel aggrieved at the lack of service to one of the many runs he made off the shoulder of his marker.

I am not sure he is a central striker, but give him credit for his work rate and his attempts to create chances and pressurise the Wednesday defence.

Luke O’Nien’s second half display

Although he had a first half to forget, O’Nien added a bit of energy and bite when he was pushed into a more advanced role.

For me, if you are going to play him in midfield, this is the position for him.

Two down

Staking a claim?

This was an insipid performance from a team that played like they had been cobbled together five minutes before kickoff!

Error-strewn and lacking in any conviction, we must have broken the record for ‘non-offensive’ backpasses.It is probably unfair to single out any one player, but the amount of times we conceded possession rather than Wednesday winning it was a concern too.

It would be stating the obvious to say nobody in the starting eleven really pressed their claim for selection on Saturday.

Away fans shafted!

1,005 Sunderland fans made the journey to Sheffield to see a team who were unbeaten in eighteen games. They deserved better than what was served up by the team that Alex Neil put onto the pitch.

I hold no sway with the ‘meaningless fixture’ brigade, either. If we take to the field, we play to win and if that is not possible, we honour the fixture with our best efforts .

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