After a very convincing win over Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium, Sunderland look much more solid than they did just two weeks ago…
We took the lead on the twenty-fifth minute when Will Grigg fired it across the goalmouth for Luke O’Nien to pass it into an open net. The lead was doubled on 55 minutes when Aiden McGeady curled in an excellent free kick to secure all three points. This win follows a 4-2 victory over Gillingham on Tuesday night and with Luton, Pompey and Barnsley all drawing the league table is looking a little better.
The main plus of these two positive results is the partnership of Grant Leadbitter and Lee Cattermole in the heart of midfield. Two experienced players who could easily be bossing Championship teams never mind League One. We all know what to expect from Catts and Grant Leadbitter is capable of controlling the pace of the game at this level and his corners have now been responsible for four gaols since his arrival. These are the kind of goals that can be the difference between a draw and a win in a tight game, so this is crucial to the team.
However, there was a massive blow to the team when Chris Maguire was substituted early on against Gillingham on Tuesday night due to an injury. He made a significant impact when coming on against Accrington, helping us claim a point from two goals behind. At first his injury was not thought to be serious, but after a scan Jack Ross confirmed that Chris has a fractured Fibula and will be side-lined for between six and eight weeks. Duncan Watmore was the man called upon to replace him against Bristol Rovers, another brilliant prospect if he is able to regain full fitness since his own long-term injury problems.
Heading into March, we are in a very healthy third place, but all Sunderland supporters are praying that we do not have to go through the agony of the play offs. With Luton at the top, a second league position would more than satisfy most Sunderland fans, but a lot can happen between now and May. A trip to Wembley is still on the cards in the Checkatrade Trophy, so this season could easily be a triumph if we are able to continue our recent form.
One thing’s for sure, it won’t be dull, because it never is at SAFC!