Sunderland were held to a 1-1 draw against Fleetwood Town on Friday night.
Charlie Wyke put the Black Cats in front after latching onto a long ball forward and slotting past the goalkeeper with ease.
But as the Wearsiders were starting to think that victory could be in their sights they suffered a setback when Callum Connolly levelled things up for Joey Barton’s side.
Here’s what we learned about the Black Cats at Highbury.
Lack of quality in possession
It was a familiar story for Sunderland as they dominated time on the ball for much of the 90 minutes.
Unfortunately Phil Parkinson’s side struggled to create much in the way of clear cut chances.
A total of 10 shots on goal doesn’t really tell the story with the Black Cats have just two efforts on target – one of which was the goal which came from a route one pass.
Keeping the ball is all well and good but if you’re not using it to create genuine goalscoring opportunities then you’re going to struggle.
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Inability to keep it tight
There’s plenty that we can say about the lack of goalscoring threat, but maybe we should look at the other end of the pitch as well.
In Sunderland’s last nine matches in all competitions they’ve kept just one clean sheet.
That’s simply not good enough for a side who have genuine ambitions of pushing for promotion.
With a lack of firepower in attack blatantly obvious, it puts a real emphasis on the defence.
With an average of just one goal scored per game it gives Sunderland precious little margin for error in defence, with just one goal conceded likely to cost them valuable points.
If they can tighten up that back line and keep some more clean sheets then their hopes of picking up victories will increase significantly.
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Something has to change
Things just aren’t right with Sunderland at the moment.
With the club in desperate need of being promoted this season there’s no time for going through torrid runs of form like this, not if the club has genuine hopes of going up.
The takeover uncertainty is clearly taking a toll, as is the speculation over Phil Parkinson’s future.
Whether it’s a major tactical change, or a big decision from the upper echelons of the club, it’s time for action if the Black Cats are to rescue this season.
After all, a fourth season in League One is simply unthinkable for supporters.