Sunderland drew 1-1 with promotion rivals Lincoln City yesterday and many Black Cats fans have been debating the performance of midfielder Carl Winchester.
The January signing started in an advanced midfield role against the Imps, further forward than he usually plays for the North East club.
Lee Johnson’s side took the lead through Callum McFadzean in the first half at the Stadium of Light but were pegged back by West Bromwich Albion loanee Callum Morton just after the hour mark.
The home side were unable to find a winner, bringing their five-game winning run to an end and leaving them third in League One – two points back from second-placed Peterborough United.
It was far from the best display that Sunderland have produced since Johnson took charge in December and the performance of one of the manager’s January signings has proven a talking point.
Winchester touched the ball just 22 times for the Black Cats but did make two key passes (Sofascore).
The Northern Irishman struggled to impact the game out of possession, winning just one of his seven ground and aerial duels, and failing to make a clearance, interception, tackle, or a block.
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His performance has drawn mixed reviews from the Sunderland fanbase on Twitter…
Frustrating. We’re not going to win every game but they are low on confidence and with a depleted squad, we just didn’t do enough. That role doesn’t suit Winchester, team would have been better for him being deeper. Pretty poor in most areas tbf. Missed opportunity #safc
— Allan Davis (@davis0688) March 20, 2021
it did not work, Winchester not creative more defense minded. should have been Mcguire or Mcgeedy there.#safc are allowing opponents to many clear cut chances need to tighten up other recent teams did not take advantage of these but Lincoln/Hull/Peterborough will.
— michael (@michael22664782) March 21, 2021
Cant see anything in Winchester to be honest just runs about no clue what he's meant to be doing O'brien much better in the 10 #safc
— N.B♡S@FC (@NBSFC1) March 20, 2021
Winchester again for me! Ticking the game over. Good vision. Great link up play. Real talent this man! #SAFC
— The American Mackem (@AmericanMackem) March 20, 2021
Winchester is a throw back to Gavin McCann. Cracking player..#SAFC
— Peter Foster (@foslar71) March 20, 2021
Leadbitter should start for me but he needs to get the balance right Winchester can’t play further forward in a 3 and Scowen can’t either the manager should no that it’s worrying he doesn’t.
— Baz (@paulbasnett10) March 21, 2021
Can i just add i like Winch.
And I like LJ.
He was excellent in his midfield role at Accrington, but the game passed him by.
Just thought it was a strange move to change a 433 to a 4231.
Left us so light in the engine room.
— Paul Summerside (@summerside49) March 21, 2021