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Millwall v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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What were the positives and negatives from Sunderland’s scrappy draw with Millwall?

Despite a ropey performance, a Jack Clarke penalty salvaged a point for the Lads in South London on Saturday. What did our writers make of the game?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images


Gav says...

Well, it’s better than losing

For most of that game we never looked like scoring a goal, so thank god the dodgy EFL officiating worked in our favour and we got a penalty to spare our blushes. It’s a point away from home at a tough ground, so it’s not to be sniffed at, but it doesn’t really tell the full story.

Our goalkeeper was sharp

In truth, if it wasn’t for Anthony Patterson we probably would have lost that game. He was kept busy and made some crucial saves and interceptions to prevent Millwall from extending their lead, and then re-taking it after our goal. Good lad, Patto.

Defence all over the place

I feel like I’ve seen us concede that exact same goal about thirty times this season already. Why do our defenders feel the need to become more than a defender at times? On Wednesday Hume did it for Huddersfield’s second when flying forward to win a header, leaving us exposed, and then it was Ballard’s turn at Millwall to step into midfield and leave O’Nien particularly vulnerable with so much space to defend. We’re so careless defensively and I’ve been saying it since last season, which worries me as we’re doing nothing to address it properly. We’re conceding too many stupid goals.

One point from three games

It’s not good enough, really, and Tony Mowbray is the luckiest man at the club tonight as a defeat would have seen the pitchforks well and truly out for him after the game. Maybe they still will be, but our form has been shocking recently and shows now signs of changing against very winnable opposition. Truthfully, I’m dreading the next two games against promotion-chasing sides.

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

Jon Guy says...

Stopping the rot… just!

It was a point on the road, gained in typical Sunderland fashion.

We have to hope it gives the team a little confidence for a couple of tough home games over the next ten days.

Patrick Roberts impresses

We looked far more threatening when Roberts came on

He had a hand in a lot of what was good about Sunderland in the last half hour of the game, also he had the beating of the full back and created some decent chances.

Hopefully, a half on the bench might have given him the a kick up the backside he’s needed.

Forward failure

Another game and another blank from our strikers.

We converted a penalty but that aside, the chances we created we contrived to waste.

It might be a lack of confidence, but it’s becoming a crisis. Our forwards need to find the net and Tony Mowbray needs to come up with a system to enable them to do that.

Far too many mistakes

The game was littered with basic errors, be it turning an added time free kick into a pass that almost set Millwall away, or two players going for the same ball and ending up leaving for a Millwall player, we were all over the place at times.

The difference between this team and last year’s is frightening.


Michael Dunne says...

Pritch changed the game

Whatever the issue is about Pritchard and his lack of starts recently, based on his showing yesterday, he should be in the starting eleven.

He showed experience, graft and quality on the ball that was lacking from Abdoullah Ba and Adil Aouchiche in the first half. His vision and intricate play saw him link up well with Jack Clarke and he was involved in everything good that we did.

I’d be starting him next weekend, based on that display.

Jack Clarke saves our bacon

As has been the theme of this season, Clarke was our main man.

Despite a tempestuous game at times, Clarke was crucial when it mattered. He beat Ryan Leonard countless times in the second half and despite a poor penalty, his goal got us a crucial point from a game in which we lacked a cutting edge yet again.

Zero cutting edge

I think it’s clear to every man and his dog that we’re going nowhere this season unless we can find a striker that is going to score a few goals.

We’ve tried Hemir, Nazariy Rusyn, Eliezer Mayenda and Mason Burstow up top and it’s as if Tony Mowbray is playing roulette each week and seeing which one works.

Unfortunately, none of them have thus far and we won’t get near the top six without one. I think a reassessment of our striking issues must be a priority in January!

A sloppy performance

Our performance standard has fallen significantly in the last few weeks, and the players seem lax, laboured and sloppy.

Our passing isn’t as sharp and our defending has been horrendous at times. The performances have led me to believe that Mowbray may find himself under pressure if we can’t pick up some wins in the next few games.

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

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