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Bristol City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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What were the negatives and positives (if any) from Sunderland’s defeat to Bristol City?

A lack of cutting edge was our downfall on Saturday as we lost 1-0 after a turbulent twenty four hours. Our writers have their say on the game

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images


Malc Dugdale says…

A bad result but a decent seven days

Thankfully, we already had six points in the bag this week.

There’ll be up and down days and if someone had offered us six points before these three games, we would’ve ripped their arm off.

A bad day at the end of an acceptable week. Move on.

Plenty of effort

We lost to a penalty that Anthony Patterson shouldn’t have enabled, and at the other end we had numerous chances to get something from the game but couldn’t quite get it across the line.

If we were creating nothing, it would be a bigger issue, and we just need someone who can shoot and score, but we’ve needed that since last season.

A disjointed defence

Against Leeds, we looked super solid but on Saturday, Patterson was far from the only one making mistakes in the defensive guard.

I genuinely hoped we’d cracked it and maybe we’ll get back to that structure in the upcoming games, but seeing us looking indecisive, flaky and vulnerable at the back so soon after Leeds shows we’re far from the finished article.

A lack of cutting edge

We simply must get someone scoring and although the lack of strikers on the pitch worked against West Brom and Leeds, it didn’t on Saturday.

Some of the openings created would surely have had a better likelihood of being converted if either Nazariy Rusyn or Eliezer Mayenda had a chance.

We need to take a punt on these attackers or we may never see them get there. Let’s get this new head coach in and see what he can do.

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

Michael Dunne says…

A good amount of possession

It’s hard to have too many complaints about the performances in midfield because I felt we dominated the game from start to finish.

Apart from some sloppy moments early on, I thought Dan Neil and Pierre Ekwah took control of things but were left reeling by the fact that we were completely hopeless up top.

January isn’t far away

We’re another week closer to the transfer window and hopefully this will mean the club might do something about the fact they’ve completely hampered our progress without signing a striker who’s ready to play at this level.

Arguments can be made for the fact that all four strikers should be getting more game time but the facts are that at least two of them probably aren’t ready and another isn’t good enough.

To my mind, this leaves Nazariy Rusyn as the only player who I think should be possibly getting more game time.

A toothless attack

Following on from my earlier point, we look well and truly out of ideas up top and this game was a continuation of many that have gone before it.

We lack a focal point, a presence and someone who actually knows how to score goals. The club have gone down the route of buying strikers who have potential but the fact that Mike Dodds won’t play them either, given his close relationship with Kristjaan Speakman, says a lot.

Nazariy Rusyn should arguably be starting more games but the rest of them don’t seem ready.

Furthermore, it seems a little bizarre that Bradley Dack is the first choice when a striker is brought on, given that he looks completely out of shape. We’re longing for a Ross Stewart-type of striker who can lead the line.

A dreadful couple of days

The club’s ability to shoot themselves in the foot never ceases to amaze me.

Between the ticketing issue for the Newcastle FA Cup game to the impending appointment of a much maligned coach and a flat performance on Saturday, the last few days have been grim as a Sunderland fan.

The imminent appointment of Mike Beale is deflating given that fans of both QPR and Rangers have very little positive to say about him, and it strikes me that the club put their eggs in the Will Still basket and have ended up with a back up option.

Letting Tony Mowbray go for someone who appears to be an egotistical maniac ensures that Beale needs to hit the ground running to win over many fans who are disgruntled with this appointment.


Tom Albrighton says…

Big Dan Ballard

He just gets better and better.

Aside from an early scare, Ballard was absolutely rock solid yet again and we’re at the point where I’m running out of things to say about him.

He’s every inch a Premier League footballer and it shows more and more every week. Even when Sunderland are poor, Ballard is excellent.

Surely it’s upwards from here?

It might be a weird positive to take but after a weekend of the club not so much shooting themselves in the foot than sawing their leg off at the knee with a rusty bread knife, it can’t get much worse than this last forty eight hours…can it?

A poor display from Patrick Roberts

Abdoullah Ba will be in the firing line for a lot of abuse but how much longer can we carry Roberts?

Sure, it’s nice to see him gliding past players like they aren’t there but it soon gets boring when the end product is absolute zero.

At other times, this wouldn’t be a huge issue but as a team that relies heavily upon wingers contributing to the game, just how much longer do we persist with him?

The weekly insult of Bradley Dack

Having to watch Dack trudging around the pitch is bad enough on a good day, but it’s even worse when you’re chasing the game.

Whenever he comes on it feels like a direct insult- to whom, I don’t know, but I certainly take it rather personally.

Every time Dack is used, it’s a waste of a substitution, although his introduction was quite on brand yesterday as all of our subs were just weird or too late.

What a week to be a Sunderland fan.

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

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