The pressure is very much on Lee Johnson as league football returns for Sunderland in a crunch fixture with Ipswich Town at the Stadium of Light.
As exclusively reported by Football League World earlier this week, there is a growing feeling that Johnson should be doing better with what he has on Wearside and the results need to improve very soon.
But the matches don’t come much tougher as the Tractor Boys make a visit to the north and they are not the same team that struggled in the opening month of the season.
Quiz: Have Sunderland ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?
Paul Cook’s side were still gelling together and since the late window arrival of Sam Morsy from Middlesbrough they have been a better outfit, losing just three times in 12 matches since September.
The Black Cats though are stuck in a rut having lost three league games in succession and an early FA Cup exit to League Two Mansfield Town, so they’ll be desperate to get back to winning ways here.
Sunderland haven’t been in league action since a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday over two weeks ago and there’s three changes from that line-up, with Bailey Wright, Nathan Broadhead and Elliot Embleton in for Tom Flanagan, Dennis Cirkin and Aiden O’Brien.
Sunderland fans have been reacting to the line-up – let’s look at what they’ve been saying.
Flanagan keeping clean sheets against the literal European champions and he gets dropped against Ipswich at home? And no left back, nice one 👍
— Daniel 🔴⚪️ (@DanielSAFC_) November 20, 2021
Broadhead with Stewart 😍
— Nathan Raine (@NRaine97) November 20, 2021
O’Nien better be in left back not Neil
— harry masters (@HazzaM2002) November 20, 2021
That back 4 is lifting. I hope Ipswich have forgot their shooting boots.
— Darren (@FeedMeHipHop33) November 20, 2021
I really hope Neil isn’t playing left back 🤯 https://t.co/l62OfA2XpU
— Simon Raper (@simonraper1) November 20, 2021
If this is Neil at LB. Bye bye LJ… https://t.co/UxDZ1mKELU
— Luke Walker (@martymcfly86) November 20, 2021
The state of that back four. No actual full backs https://t.co/n7hf7AxqMY
— Bruce McLachlan (@BruceMcLachlan) November 20, 2021
Solid enough side that. Need to perform like we know we can https://t.co/5CfwLpilFA
— SAFC Experience (@ExperienceSafc) November 20, 2021
I give up https://t.co/o4XbnsLeSv
— Joey Burton (@joey__burton__) November 20, 2021