This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sunderland want promotion this season, there is no denying that.
However, it’s not been plain sailing so far this campaign and the Black Cats sit just outside the play-off spots in seventh position.
Lee Johnson is now the man at the helm at the Stadium of Light after Phil Parkinson’s dismissal, and despite a decent start, results have been inconsistent still and the Mackems have struggled to go on a consistent winning run.
So, having been in the hotseat for over two months now, how would you sum up Lee Johnson’s start to life at Sunderland?
The team here at FLW discuss….
On the whole you have to see that it’s been a decent start.
Since taking over in early December Lee Johnson has lost just three matches while in charge of Sunderland – a run which shows that the team are starting to move in the right direction.
That said there’s a lot of work still to do based on recent results.
Sunderland are in a position where they need to be winning games if they’re to catch up with the promotion race and as it stands they’re simply dropping too many points.
Supporters are getting frustrated and the only way to ease that is for Johnson to go on another unbeaten run that will see them move upwards.
Quiz: Were each of these 20 former Sunderland players left or right footed?
If we are honest, it’s been inconsistent, but what more could you expect?
Johnson isn’t a miracle worker and he wasn’t just going to turn Sunderland into a top-two side overnight.
So, in that respect, he’s doing enough.
Sunderland sit seventh in the table, two points outside the play-off places with a game in-hand.
That’s a strong position to kick on and get into the play-offs, then anything can happen.
It’s about all Sunderland could have asked for from Johnson at this stage.
There’s work to be done, but you’ve got to be satisfied with where the club are.
It’s been a bit of a mixed spell for me.
The start of Johnson’s tenure was obviously disrupted by three games being called off due to COVID, but overall, he’s turned them into a more solid outfit.
They’ve only lost three league games under his stewardship, but they also haven’t really won many games, picking up three points on only four occasions thus far.
Draws have been Sunderland’s arch nemesis ever since they were relegated into League One, and he needs to find a way of making them more expansive going forward, but when they do take the lead, they need to be resilient at the back.
He’s a good manager, though, and even if he doesn’t take Sunderland up this season, he needs time to rebuild his squad and bring in his own players in the summer.
He needs time.