Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has told the SAFC Unfiltered Podcast that a lack of consistency from his side has been his biggest frustration this season.
The Black Cats eventually finished in fourth place after looking like they may sneak into one of the two automatic spots in Sky Bet League One, with their form taking a hit towards the end of the campaign.
As a result of this, the North East outfit head into their play-off semi final against Lincoln City off the back of winning just two of their last 10 league games.
Speaking recently, Johnson was quick to admit that it was those inconsistencies in performance that have frustrated him the most:
“I think what’s been my biggest frustration with my tenure so far is just how much we’ve had to change and not be able keep that level of consistency.
“Whether that be team shape – most of that has been through unforeseen circumstances.
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“I think the covid situation that we had, the injuries that we had, and we’ve had to be really adaptable in that sense. I think the players deserve a lot of credit because they have been.
“They haven’t grumbled at playing out of position and there’s been two or three who have had to do that pretty regular.”
The former Bristol City boss took over the job from Phil Parkinson back in December of last year and has since racked up 18 wins out of a possible 36 in charge.
Sunderland will be back in action on Wednesday as they travel to Sincil Bank for the first leg of their play-off semi final against Lincoln.
The pressure will be as high as ever on Sunderland to achieve promotion this term and as a result of this, a lot will be riding on their semi final clash with the Imps.
Many expected the Black Cats to finish in the automatic spots but their recent form of late has been patchy at best and they really need to get back to their best in order to stand any chance of progressing through to the Wembley showpiece.
Neither side are in the best of form, which means the two legs could well be decided by a moment of magic from one of the talented players on both sides.
The Black Cats may well live to rue missing out on a top two finish if they are not too careful, as Lincoln will pose a big threat to their chances of making the final.