Sunderland risk just coming up short in the race for automatic promotion from League One after back-to-back draws have left Jack Ross’s side four points off second-placed Barnsley with one game in hand.
With ten games of their season remaining, Ross will believe that an automatic spot is still within reach, but with the distraction of a Checkatrade Trophy final against League One rivals Portsmouth at the end of the month, it may be that the Black Cats have to make do with the play-offs.
So can Sunderland still make the top two?
“I think it is too much to ask now.
“Of course, they still have a game in hand but I just cannot see Barnsley or Luton slipping up.
“The Black Cats will certainly be the favourites in the play-offs, however.”
“Only if they’re lucky.
“Something hasn’t quite clicked.
“They should have killed more games off recently, but have struggled.
“Barnsley have it to lose.”
“I think what will let them down is their inability to see out games.
“I don’t foresee them making the top two; I think it will have to be the play-offs.
“And then from there, it is anyone’s game as to who goes up – but top two is a little out of reach.”