It’s rare that a week goes by a Sunderland without plenty to talk about. The past week has, once again, been no exception. The past seven days saw two very uninspiring performances by Sunderland.
The Black Cats saw their EFL Cup and FA Cup hopes derailed by poor performances. We also have the latest from the academy and ladies teams, plus other news from around the club from the past week.
Two Uninspiring Performances by Sunderland This Week
Leicester City U21’s Win at the Stadium of Light
Sunderland endured a miserable night on Wearside in the Leasing.com trophy. A victory would have seen the Black Cats progress from the group stage. However, Leicester ’s under-21’s left with the win.
It was a poor performance from an experienced Sunderland team. The only moment of enjoyment for fans was Chris Maguire’s excellent free-kick which opened the scoring. It was downhill from then on. Two goals early in the second half from Leicester’s youngsters sealed the win. Sunderland had no answer to losing their lead or going behind. A performance to forget.
The Black Cats must now win at Scunthorpe United should they wish to progress in this competition. A competition they came so close to winning last season.
Uninspiring Performances by Sunderland Players See Gillingham Earn Cup Reply
After the disappointment of the cup performance in midweek, Sunderland had the chance to put things right. This time in the FA Cup. Fellow League One side Gillingham were the visitors. The home side controlled much of the first half without creating many clear-cut opportunities. However, an Aiden McGeady strike put Sunderland in front.
The Black Cats should have doubled their lead before halftime. Chris Maguire guilty of missing an excellent chance. A minute into the second half Gillingham were level. A free-kick straight at goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin slipped through the Scottish international’s fingers, trickling over the line. The rest of the half was as poor from a Sunderland perspective as the Leicester game. Heads dropped and the home side looked unlikely to produce any moment of quality to score a winner.
A draw could be the worst scenario for Sunderland. Games are coming thick and fast. They already have had three games postponed this season due to international call-ups. A fourth due to a FA Cup replay makes the winter period that bit tougher.
Max Power Admits Everyone Must Stick Together
After the two recent disappointing performances, captain Max Power has urged everyone to stick together. Speaking to safc.com ahead of this weeks EFL Trophy game at Scunthorpe, Power said:
“We have got to get back to winning games. The performance levels have been ok, we know we can improve, and we don’t want to creep into a mentality of accepting draws and defeats. We have got to get that winning mentality back and it comes with hard work, believing in what we are doing and sticking together. I know it’s all cliché stuff but it is really true.”
Burge and Hume Back in Training
After a frustrating week, some good news was reported on Monday. Goalkeeper Lee Burge and left-back Denver Hume both resumed training. Burge has been missing since injuring his thigh last month. Hume has been out with a virus.
Sunderland have no fixture this weekend. It could, therefore, be a case of manager Phil Parkinson selecting what he believes is his strongest team. With goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin suffering from a lack of form and confidence, Burge may replace his fellow keeper after the howler against Gillingham.
Sunderland Ladies played their first home game in two months at the weekend. Since September, all their games have been played away from home. This however, has not hindered the team. The ladies have dropped just two points this season as they sit at the top of the table.
The ladies homecoming was a successful one. A 3-1 victory over Loughborough Foxes extended their unbeaten run this season.
The draw for the second round of the women’s FA Cup produced a derby against North East rivals Middlesbrough. Boro will travel to Sunderland on Sunday 1st December.
Sunderland Under-23’s were narrowly beaten by Liverpool in the Premier League Cup. A man of the match performance from Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson was not enough to stop Liverpool winning 2-1.
The young Black Cats led early in the second half. However, an own goal and a late penalty proved to be enough for the visitors.