Are the wheels falling off of Sunderland’s automatic promotion charge to the Championship?
The Black Cats have lost back-to-back League One games, going down 2-1 to both Charlton Athletic and Wigan Athletic in the last week.
They’d been on a 12-game unbeaten run before that but it just shows how quickly things can change, and another blow has been delivered with centre-back Dion Sanderson set for a spell on the sidelines.
Lee Johnson will be looking for ways to try and arrest the slide, and he may have to look towards the under-23 squad and give the call to a player that’s bang in-form right now.
Sunderland picked up attacking midfielder Josh Hawkes from nearby non-league side Hartlepool United back in September after making 18 appearances last season in the Vanarama National, and he immediately went into the Black Cats’ development squad.
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22-year-old Hawkes has proved a class above in the Premier League 2 competition, scoring 11 goals and assisting a further five in 17 appearances – and two of those came this afternoon against Norwich.
Sunderland haven’t exactly struggled for goals this season, but on a two-game losing streak fresh options may be needed, and fans are all thinking the same thing about Hawkes and wanting him in the senior squad for the rest of the season.
Hope Johnson is watching this kid deserves a chance in the first team can’t do no worse than O’Brien who offers little to absolutely nothing every game
— Alan Davison (@AlanDav42277562) April 16, 2021
Get this guy in the first team
— Liam ツ (@SAFCLiam17) April 16, 2021
if we’re serious about this youth development programme, we need to promote him into some first team games or at least training sessions
— Sam Thubron (@samthubron3) April 16, 2021
Get him in the first team, he deserves a chance now. 🔴⚪️🔥
— CalSAFC 🇫🇷 🔴⚪ (@CalSAFCFTM) April 16, 2021
he is absolutely unreal lads
— Joe Marshy🐊🇬🇧 (@Marshy_SAFC) April 16, 2021
This guys on 🔥
— Joe McNally (@JoeMcNa36001719) April 16, 2021
He’s like a cheat code get him in first team
— Oluwaseun Bamgboye (@bamgboyeolu) April 16, 2021
Get him playing in the first team up top next to Wyke
— Jake Davison 🇫🇷 (@JakeDavison15) April 16, 2021
We’ve actually got a new Josh Maja on our hands 😍 https://t.co/osYyAcze8a
— Will🇫🇷 (@SunlunWill) April 16, 2021
— Chris (@durhamchris1983) April 16, 2021