Former Sunderland midfielder Stephen Elliott was not happy with Jack Ross’ decision to drop Luke O’Nien this weekend, as the Black Cats drew 1-1 with lowly Oxford United.
Sunderland remain fourth after the 1-1 draw, but they’re now 11 points adrift of leaders Luton Town, with three games in hand. They’re five points off Barnsley in second, but again have games in hand in which to catch up.
That doesn’t mask the disappointment at drawing with Oxford, but former Eire international Elliott believe 24-year-old O’Nien has every right to be aggrieved at not making the side this weekend.
“Luke O Nien got be wondering what he has done wrong,” tweeted Elliott. “Is he an easy option to leave out as he seems like a nice happy guy. If I was him I would be banging door down to play. Is that in his nature? Been best player for weeks then gets dropped for last two games!”
The former Wycombe man last started in the League on January 19th as Sunderland drew 1-1 at Scunthorpe, but only appeared from the bench with 11 minutes remaining this weekend.
He’s made 20 appearances in League One for the Wearsiders, eight of those as starts, scoring four times in the process.
O’Nien might have been doing well, but Sunderland haven’t. Of his five recent starts, only one brought a win and the other four were draws. As Ross plots a course into the top two, he needs to be getting three points rather than one.
The 24-year-old will have to show character and bide his time as the new signings get a chance, but if he’s applying himself right then he’ll get another chance. He shouldn’t be angry at all, he’s a member of a squad and the manager uses that squad as he sees fit.