Sunderland take on Bolton this weekend as they look to get back to winning ways after a draw in the week against Rotherham United.
The Black Cats won against Accrington Stanley last weekend, of course, and so ahead of a trip to Lancashire once more, we caught up with Gary McLaughlin from We Are Wearside to preview things…
1. Let’s look at the win over Stanley first, how impressive were the attacking combinations?
Our quality showed in the game. Gooch’s goal was a delightful touch, McGeady was typically effective at this level and McNulty got the third. There was some worry that the performance wasn’t fantastic, in keeping with all of our performances this season. It seems like some games relying purely on the quality we have is enough, but we need a more rounded performance if we’re going to achieve automatic promotion.
2. Denver Hume has earned some praise, has he improved a great deal in your eyes?
He really, really struggled at the start of the season when deployed as a wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation. It was a bit too much to ask of Hume in my opinion, having only played less than 10 senior games he became the first point of attack and defence, and his lack of experience was really obvious. Since we’ve reverted to four at the back, he’s looked more comfortable and has started to put in some decent crosses. Plenty of work for him to do but he is starting to look decent.
3. A draw with Rotherham midweek – could that end up being a decent point with the Millers having their own promotion aims?
In the grand scheme of the season, perhaps, but that was a game we should have won. In the opening 30 minutes we had Rotherham at sixes and sevens, but when counterattacking we shackled ourselves with really lazy play, instead of putting players through on goal we were passing behind them – it was so frustrating. McGeady took the worst penalty I’ve ever seen. Second half we took off McNulty for Wyke and suddenly our counter-attacking threat disappeared and the Rotherham goal was inevitable. It’s not good enough, and at the moment this season feels like it’s on the same course as last.
4. A trip to Bolton up next, but surely a time for concentration after they earned a draw with Oxford?
A must-win game really. I know Bolton have improved from their opening games after the takeover and influx of players, but we can’t afford to keep dropping points.
5. Score prediction
3-1 Sunderland and still no clean sheet!