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Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Two Up... or Four Up?! All the positives (are there any negatives?) from Sunderland’s win at QPR

What a win, what a night - but what were the biggest positives from Sunderland’s performance, and were there any tiny negatives or things we need to work on?

Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Joseph Tulip says...

Finding a way to win

This was a game of two halves in that during the first period, we played QPR off the park for large periods and deservedly led 1-0 at the break. In the second half they tried everything to stop us from playing, giving us precious little space and constantly fouling during what really was a rough second half. But we rode out the storm, survived a penalty thanks to Patterson and once we scored the second there was only going to be one winner.

Luke O’Nien

Many of our lads excelled on the night and are really starting to stand up against some of the Championship’s most physical sides. Tony Mowbray’s decision to start O’Nien in midfield to freshen things up was a masterstroke. He read the game well, used the ball sensibly to feed our more creative players and was a warrior throughout, covering every blade of grass and taking more than a couple of hard knocks for his trouble. O’Nien was just what we needed during that difficult spell in the second half.

Not stopping the cross

I’m being picky here but there were times when we were unable to stop QPR from getting crosses into the box from wide areas. We kept a clean sheet though and I’m sure this is something the lads will be working on daily.

No goal for Geldhardt

The Leeds loanee looks to be adapting to our style of play and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before Joffy gets off the mark. He was unlucky to hit the bar with a looping header and perhaps should have scored while through on goal at 0-0.

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says...

Looking fresh

It is always a risk when you make changes and it does feel a tad harsh on those that miss out given recent performances, but with the games coming thick and fast Tony Mowbray was right to freshen up the starting XI. The changes worked a treat too, as did the substitutions - we have a good pool of talent, all of whom are contributing right now, and having a head coach above it that knows the game will hopefully see us continue to get the most out of that ability in the coming weeks.

Away form

Playing against an out of form side has often ended up in disappointment for Sunderland, but we were switched on properly and come full time were taking the mick in all honesty. The players seem to be full of confidence; some of the stuff they were pulling off was up there with the best I have ever seen from us, and to be able to go on the road and do that to an established Championship side is fantastic. Some of our away results have been superb, but it is the actual performances that are the most impressive aspect - we are pitching up, playing without fear and at the moment, absolutely flying. I’m loving it!

Slight worry

I did fear just before QPR took the penalty that we were about to throw away all our hard work, and that a couple of earlier missed chances were about to come back to haunt us. I get the impression though that there was a bit of kidology from Luke O’Nien to stall the spot kick, and of course it was a superb save from Anthony Patterson. He took several clean catches under pressure too, and the team stood up well as a whole when we were under the cosh. There was a good chance we’d have come back had we conceded anyway, but the decision was probably the one moment of real concern in an otherwise outstanding show.

Late tackles

QPR knew we were a level above, and so resorted to a few poor tackles that could have done proper damage. The one on Dennis Cirkin in the build up to our second seemed particularly cynical and after a great run to get the move going I was pleased to see him dust himself down straight away. We’ve had some bad luck with injuries and Cirkin is one of those that really suffered, so to have him come through that was encouraging. The Lads are not shy, they get stuck in and one or two really seem to love a physical battle, but I did feel that the opposition took that a bit too far on occasions this time.

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - Loftus Road Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images

Jon Guy says...

Jack Clarke

He gave the type of performance that should shame those who’ve questioned his place in the team. Was looking for the ball throughout the game, wanted to roast the full back every chance he got, and two goals, to settle the few nerves we had in the final 10 minutes.

A joy to watch

Watching that team is quite simply a pleasure. Brilliant with the ball, slick passing, QPR could only hack us down on the counterattack, and they press in packs when they don’t have the ball. It’s a real pleasure to see them play.


Not only was the penalty saved, but he commanded his box. Great handling of the ball, sure in his decision making, and was keen to launch the counter when the QPR strike wasn’t holding him back.

Referee once again

QPR were simply outclassed and from the outset were happy to foul to disrupt the football, which was being played around them. The referee should have gotten his card out far earlier than he did. He has a responsibility to protect the players and ensure the game flows. It’s so disappointing everyone could see what was going on other than him.

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - Loftus Road Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images

Anth Gair says...

Our goalie

Patto was exceptional in a performance adjacent to one where everyone was questioning whether he was good enough to get us promoted. The boy is young, and young goalkeepers need confidence, and when he’s confident, he is faultless. Everything stuck to his mitts, like the ball was magnetised. The penalty save topped it all off, and he meant that - 100%. Terrific performance in a game of attrition.

Jack Clarke

What is there to say? He just continues to shine! Doesn’t score every week, but is capable of performances like this, causing issues going forward and even defending when required. Class. I hope the lad gets us to Wembley again.


Aye, I don’t want to slag the lad off, he’s absolutely mint, but there are occasions where I wish he’d pass the ball off and not try to beat fourteen players. (I had to pick something!)

Another down?

It’s hard to find another negative, so I’m going with QPR’s shithousery. But they can sod off, so there.


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