This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sunderland will certainly be hoping for a good result against Doncaster Rovers.
The Black Cats are on a run of three league matches without a victory and that has seen them lose their momentum as they push to secure promotion.
As a result Lee Johnson’s side have real work to do if they’re to push themselves into the top six.
This is Sunderland’s third attempt at securing promotion to the Championship, but is the team good enough to go up this term?
The team at FLW have their say…
The fact that they are struggling does suggest that they aren’t good enough for promotion, but I’d avoid writing them off just now.
Lee Johnson is a good manager and I think that he’s the right man for the job at the Stadium of Light.
However, the task of turning things around for the club this season is a big one and his project might be more of an 18-month timeframe.
But, you’ve got to look at the fact that Sunderland are still in touching distance of the play-off places and there’s a lot of football still to be played this season.
If they get it together and crash into the play-offs, we know anything can happen.
The evidence so far suggests they aren’t quite there yet, but you wouldn’t back against the Black Cats or Johnson delivering something.
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There’s enough quality in that side to suggest they should be in the play-offs at the very least.
However, they just cannot seem to find or maintain any sort of winning run of form, a trend that has become prevalent over the last few seasons at the Stadium of Light.
Granted, the club has tried various different managers in a bid to get the club out of League One so time and patience is certainly required – Lee Johnson has only been in the role since December.
But if they can somehow muster up some sort of consistency over the latter few months of the season, then you have to give them a shout.
Though, my fear is that if it came down to a play-off situation, there are other teams in the mixer in League One whom are more cohesive units and have been able to display some nice, consistent winning form.
I think they are good enough, yes.
They have a good squad, a good manager and players in that side that should be confident enough to feel they can win promotion.
Form is obviously patchy at the moment, though, and that is what is going to hold them back if they cannot sort it out.
They surely know that they have it in them to get promoted this season and I firmly feel that if they can get on a run they’ll be tough to stop but finding consistency and confidence in a congested League One season is no mean feat – every side has tripped up at times this year.
They can still do it, they just need to dig deep and start producing regularly because we’ve seen at times what a decent side they can be.