Sky Sports pundit David Prutton has admitted that he believes that Sunderland’s recent dip in form could provide the club with the wake-up call that it needs to push on in League One.
After initially making a positive start to the 2021/22 campaign under the guidance of manager Lee Johnson, the Black Cats have ultimately failed to deliver the goods in the third-tier in recent weeks.
A 1-0 defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic was followed up by a 5-1 defeat to Rotherham United as Sunderland were outclassed at the AESSEAL New York Stadium by Paul Warne’s side.
Johnson would have been hoping to see his side deliver a response to these two performances in their recent showdown with Sheffield Wednesday.
However, Sunderland couldn’t prevent the Owls from securing a 3-0 victory at Hillsborough.
Knocked out of the FA Cup by Mansfield Town last weekend, the Black Cats will be determined to get back on track by securing a positive result in their EFL Trophy clash with Bradford City tonight before they host Ipswich Town at the Stadium of Light later this month.
Currently fifth in the League One standings, Sunderland will be looking to close the gap between them and league leaders Wigan Athletic in the coming months by picking up points on a regular basis at this level.
Making reference to the Black Cats, Prutton has insisted that their recent slump may actually give them the wake-up call that they need to push on.
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Speaking on the latest episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast, Prutton said: “You’d like to think that this kind of fortnight that they have had, this troubling fortnight may be the kick up the backside that they need heading towards Christmas, heading towards this next stretch of the season where it’s going to be relentless as the games are coming thick and fast.”
For Sunderland’s sake, they will be determined to overcome their recent struggles as a continuation of their poor form in League One will have a negative impact on their chances of securing automatic promotion to the Championship.
Whilst Aiden McGeady’s absence from the club’s clash with Wednesday earlier this month was a significant blow, it is important that the Black Cats find a way of competing without their talisman as there is no guarantee that he will be able to avoid injury or suspension in the coming months.
Set to face an Ipswich side who have won three of their last four games in the third-tier on November 20th, Sunderland know that a failure to step up to the mark in this clash could result in another damaging defeat.
By producing a positive performance at the Stadium of Light against the Tractor Boys, Johnson’s side could use the confidence gained from this result to push on in League One over the Christmas period.