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Coventry City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - Coventry Building Society Arena

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Two Up, Two Down: Positives & Negatives from Sunderland’s loss at Coventry

The Lads ended a tough week on a low note as they were beaten 2-1 by Mark Robins’ side on Saturday afternoon. How did our writers see the game?

Photo by Barrington Coombs/PA Images via Getty Images

Gav says…

Amad’s goal

In a Sunderland performance that was sorely lacking in quality, Amad managed to score an absolute screamer right at the death to remind everyone that we can get our shots away when we can be arsed.

It was worthy of winning any game and I guess it’s a shame that it’ll be buried in the defeat, but hey ho.

Good goal, Amad!

Luke O’Nien’s impact

We’ll get on to the other side of the O’Nien discussion in a second, but it was nice for him to come on and play a fantastic diagonal ball which opened Coventry up.

For some reason he’s not being trusted to start games at the minute but his teammates could take a leaf out of his book and switch the play up occasionally, because it might work.

Errors from Tony Mowbray

I could rant all day about this, but I need to keep it short.

We’re happy to praise Mowbray when it’s warranted but it’s only fair to call him out when he gets it wrong. I didn’t understand his team selection at Rotherham and I understand it even less after Coventry.

He’s picking lads who are clearly tired and out of form when we have capable players sat on the bench. The continued omission of O’Nien is baffling and the tactics are arrogant and ridiculous.

I’m not quite sure what he was expecting to happen when he started Dan Neil and Edouard Michut together, both of whom gave our defence no protection whatsoever.

He needs this week’s break more than some of the players, because some of the noises and decisions coming from him in the last few weeks don’t fill me with hope for the rest of the season.

Frustration for Joe Gelhardt

I feel a bit sorry for him but he needs to do more, whether it’s dropping into midfield to receive the ball or causing defenders issues when playing off the shoulder.

He’s not Ross Stewart and never will be, but someone should show him a few of Stewart’s tapes before Stoke because he might learn something.

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

Joseph Tulip says…

Endless commitment

This was a game where very little went in our favour, but the level of effort, commitment and desire was very high.

The amount of ground our lads are covering during games is remarkable and yesterday was no exception.

I don’t want to single anyone out because to a man, our work rate is top draw.

Touches of quality throughout

We couldn’t get the better of Coventry but there were signs of the ability we have within our team.

Coventry couldn’t switch off for a second because for much of the second half we controlled possession with Patrick Roberts, Amad and Jack Clarke trying to pull the strings.

There were also touches of quality when Jewison Bennette and Abdoullah Ba were introduced and our efforts deserved that touch of class from Amad, which led to a consolation goal.

A lack of cutting edge

Patrick Roberts typified our performance yesterday.

He saw plenty of the ball and sometimes tried to do far too much on his own, by taking on multiple defenders with highly ambitious runs. However, he often lost possession when a simple pass inside would have sufficed.

We really struggled to get in behind despite many encouraging signs, but in the absence of Ross Stewart, we need to keep the ball moving, stretch defences and not hold onto it for too long.

Losing the physical battle

Our hosts had big men at both ends of the pitch, as well as plenty of pace and power in attack.

Our defence was run ragged at times and perhaps would’ve benefited from a beefed-up midfield. It didn’t seem the right sort of game for Dan Neil, who struggled, and Edouard Michut was unable to impose himself on the game.

I felt that Pierre Ekwah would have been more of a match for Coventry in terms of physicality, whereas Luke O’Nien would have provided the bit of steel we needed in a sitting role in front of the back four.

Malc Dugdale says…

Marginal improvements

It was a better away performance than Tuesday night, and once again we might’ve come away with a point on a better day.

If Danny Batth’s header had been a couple of inches lower and Patrick Roberts had taken the chance that followed a goalmouth scramble, we could’ve nicked it, although it would’ve been harsh on Coventry as they spurned a few chances too.

It was good to see a slight improvement in both tactics and performance, as Rotherham away was a real low.

A great finish by Amad

The goal scored by Amad was superb and a reminder of what he can do.

He hasn’t been among the goals for a bit and relying on someone other than Jack Clarke for goals is required, as we continue to struggle without Ross Stewart.

A lack of end product

Apart from a cracking goal by Amad, we were severely lacking in firepower against a team with a very impressive striker in Viktor Gyokeres and a great defensive record.

We had plenty of possession and several half-chances but lacked that killer pass and clinical finish. Once again Joe Gelhardt looked unlikely to provide the solution and rarely have I missed Stewart as much as I did in that game.

The commentators were gushing about the Coventry striker at times and Gyokeres was decent but if Stewart had been playing, it would’ve been a very different match.

Give him a four year contract and get him fit as soon as possible.

Some poor individual performances

I thought a few of the players had poor games and didn’t really step it up as I’d hoped.

Amad had a very indifferent game for the most part and Clarke was quite average, too. Players who’ve changed games in the past are currently struggling to put a good forty five minutes together.

Hopefully with a week off before Stoke, it can help us kick the losing habit and rediscover some mojo, because we need to stop the rot at home next Saturday.

Coventry City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Martin swinney/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images


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