Andrew Smithson says...
I’m really disappointed by this news, not just for the team but also for Danny Batth himself; he has been fantastic this season and I’m assuming that he’ll be gutted to have it end this way.
I think he remains a good bet for Player of the Year though, given the level and consistency of his performances, and I’m struggling to remember him ever really having a bad game. Not only that, but his standards and leadership have been vital for those around him too - particularly those that are new to the division or senior football even.
Most teams in the Championship would miss his reading of the game, bravery, strength and organisation but at least Tony Mowbray has options. It is not like we haven’t had to deal with injuries before, and with the possibility of either switching to a back three with wingbacks or staying as we are and allowing Joe Anderson a run in the side, we do have some flexibility still.
If the play-offs become mathematically impossible I can certainly see him trying a few more things out with a view to the future.
The other silver lining is that it has happened now, and not earlier when we were still trying to get to grips with things after promotion. Had Sunderland been without Batth for a longer period it would have been bound to impact results; he has been an excellent signing, and will hopefully continue to be a huge influence in 2023-24.
The other hope for next season is that our luck turns with regards to injuries.
Now that Batth is out we are down to about four first team regulars by my reckoning that have not been out for a period with either some sort of niggle or more complicated problem, and to do as well as we have with one hand tied behind our back effectively says a lot about the role of players like him.
Tom Albrighton says...
Losing Batth for the remainder of the season is probably the final nail in the coffin for Sunderland's promotion push.
Batth, who has been a constant in this season’s side has brought experience and calm to our ever-changing back line, as well as some much-needed height.
In terms of what happens for the rest of the season, I believe we can probably write it off and still be able to look back at it as a resounding success.
In terms of forward planning this latest in a long line of injuries places an increased importance on having a functioning academy so in future seasons, whilst disappointing, these injured don’t leave us void of defenders.
For now, it’s up to Anderson to jump in at the deep end as our only recognised centre back and learn in possibly the hardest way imaginable.
As for Danny, get well soon sweet prince x
Malc Dugdale says...
I’m gutted that Danny is out for the rest of the season but I’m also pleased at the chance this will give young Anderson to show what he has.
I’d prefer it if the issue for Batth is only for a few weeks as we really need him back for the pre-season next time. I’m hopeful now we have consolidated we can build in the summer, and build around players like Danny to kick on for a proper go at the top six, rather than having to cover for him till he returns to fitness.
He is a rare experienced head in a young squad so we need him back. He has been a great leader and stand-in captain while Evans has been injured and he will be a big miss, especially for aerial dominance and defensive set pieces.
Despite missing the last few games is he a potential player of the season for me, but I’m happy that the likes of O’Nien can bring the best out of Anderson as a centre back. As these three games are a sort of free hit with only an upside, what better time to blood someone newer?
We need to remember if we didn’t have injuries to the likes of Stewart we would never have seen how good a scoring machine we can be without him. Hopefully this opens our eyes to other positive findings we may not have seen in other circumstances.
Get well soon Danny.