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Bristol City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Roker Roundtable: Do Sunderland have another gem in the shape of Ellis Simms?

The on-loan Everton striker made a huge impression with a two-goal debut performance on Saturday. What did our panel make of his contribution?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Kingsley Reavley says…

Very impressive.

Simms looks like another smart addition by the recruitment team, to complement our already formidable attacking force. The fact both of the clubs he’s been loaned to were desperate to get him back gave us an idea of the type of player we were getting, but I doubt many of us expected him to make that kind of impact on his debut.

He seems to possess every attribute you’d look for in a striker: strength, pace, composure, power, and positioning, and he also played without fear.

Opposing teams will have taken note of the havoc that the Simms and Ross Stewart partnership caused, and they won’t look forward to playing against them. There was also a lot to like about his post-match interviews, where he came across level-headed yet supremely confident.

I’m looking forward to seeing how does for the rest of the campaign, but there is very little doubt that he will be hugely influential.

Bristol City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says…

He couldn’t have asked for a better debut.

So far, he’s shown us that he can really play, that he can score goals, and that he’s got a good attitude, which is exactly what we need for the season ahead.

Obviously, it’s far too early to say how much so, and we have a fine tradition of incredible debuts fading to disappointing mediocrity.

However, judging from his past, I don’t think that will be the case here. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do, and I certainly hope he’ll be very influential this season.

Bristol City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Kelvin Beattie says…

By any definition, this was a good debut.

We were treated to glimpses of Simms’ pace and touch, his eye for a shot, and his strength on the ball. He offers a threat in the air, giving us an option at dead ball situations in both attack and defence.

What I most enjoyed was the spring in the step of Ross Stewart, which was more noticeable as the game progressed.

With Simms sharing some of the load up front, we got to see Stewart’s movement and flexibility. He is much more than your standard beanpole striker, and Simms’ selection alongside him gave us a good look at what the ‘Loch Ness Drogba’ can bring.

It augers well for the season ahead. If we can turn the pressure we apply into goals and can sometimes manufacture a goal from nowhere, that will be hugely beneficial this season.

Bristol City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Lars Knutsen says…

The beginning of this ‘SAS’ partnership was very promising.

The movement off the ball, the manner in which Ellis Simms was looking to shoot, even from distance, and the way the home defence was clearly intimidated by the presence of two confident strikers all bodes well for the future.

This means that we will be a more attacking team, and that the 4-4-2 formation, so impressively utilised by Peter Reid, will be a tempting option. The team had significant momentum already, not having lost since February 19th, but if both Stewart and Simms can develop an understanding similar to Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips, it could become a highly impressive partnership.

Clearly, a lot depends on them both staying injury-free and working together in instinctive fashion, as they did for the first goal on Saturday.

Bristol City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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