Lee Johnson believes that contract uncertainty around his players could be playing a role in the club’s recent poor form.
Sunderland are currently on a torrid run which has seen them go seven matches without recording a victory in League One, putting their promotion hopes in jeapardy.
Despite being firmly in the automatic promotion mix, the Wearsiders now have just two games left in which to cement their spot in the play-offs – their only chance to secure promotion this term.
Sunderland have a large number of first team players out of contract this summer including players such as Charlie Wyke, Luke O’Nien and Aiden McGeady, and when quizzed on the reasons behind the club’s lapse in form, Johnson mentioned that the uncertainty could be playing a part.
Speaking to Chronicle Live, Johnson said: “I think there’s a number of factors that go into any slump. I think there’s been a bit of misfortune in terms of when we have played well, we’ve failed to capitalise or individual errors have cost us.
“I think there’s a whirlwind of everything going around – the number of games we’ve played. I think sometimes the contract situations can play on one or two people’s minds which is understandable.
“You’ve obviously got players who are learning new positions as well, but we’ve got what we’ve got.
“We’re not going to drown players in their weaknesses, we’re going to promote their strengths and try and coach them into becoming super strengths as much as possible.”
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Whatever the reason for the slump in form, Lee Johnson needs to address it quickly.
Sunderland have lost all of the wind our of their sails in recent weeks and that is a big worry as a potential place in the play-off looms.
That said, they still have work to do to even finish in the top six and so getting a result against Plymouth Argyle this weekend is absolutely paramount.