Plymouth Argyle manager Ryan Lowe has admitted he would not want to be in the position his Sunderland counterpart Lee Johnson finds himself in at this moment in time.
Sunderland face Lowe’s Plymouth side at Home Park on Saturday afternoon, having failed to win any of their last seven games.
That run has ended the Black Cats’ hopes of claiming automatic promotion to the Championship this season, something they will now have to try and secure via the play-offs, if they can secure a top-six spot.
However, Sunderland are facing the prospect of having to do that without a number of their senior players, particularly in defence, with several currently sidelined by injury.
Now it seems as though Lowe has some sympathy for Johnson ahead of the meeting between the two, with the Plymouth boss quoted by The Sunderland Echo as saying: “I’d rather be in my shoes than someone else’s shoes – who are fighting to get in the play-offs with those injuries.
“That’s just the way it is. I think the season has been tough all along. The games have come thick and fast and the programme has been intense, 100 miles an hour.
“The games we’re playing, we want them to do as well as they can and it might be an opportunity for one or two of the youngsters to go and show their abilities.”
Does Home Park have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
As things stand, Sunderland are currently fourth in the League One table, five points clear of seventh placed Oxford in the battle for an all-important top six spot.
I can understand the point that that Lowe is making here.
Having been promoted from League Two last season, Plymouth have down their job for 2020/21 in securing their place in League One for the next campaign, meaning Lowe can relax a bit more now.
That is not something that Johnson to do, with the expectation still firmly on his side to claim promotion this season, something which will not have been helped by this recent run.
The injuries Lowe is referring to here only make things even harder for Sunderland, and while the Plymouth boss does seem sympathetic to Johnson’s position here, I wouldn’t expect that to be the case when the two sides kick-off this afternoon.