Sunderland didn’t need to get out of second gear to win 2-0 against a relegation-threatened Rochdale side. Oliver Younger also made his debut at right back. Here’s how the lads rated out of ten...
Lee Burge (7/10): Made one impressive save in the second half and wasn’t tested other than that.
Ollie Younger (6/10): Got unlucky in some situations, but generally looked decent. Showed some good positional awareness and could be one to keep an eye on.
Dion Sanderson (8/10): Put us ahead with a tidy header. Vocal throughout and yet again looked like our best defender. Won all of his battles in the match and never seemed to break a sweat. Quality player.
Luke O’Nien (7/10): Made a crucial block from Baah’s shot with his chest in the first half. Although he’s a square peg in a round hole, O’Nien looks more and more comfortable at centre back each game.
Callum McFadzean (6/10): Again, very weak defensively, but that’s to be expected. Made up for it a little with some good runs down the line and putting a few dangerous balls in.
Carl Winchester (7/10): Tidy in midfield, keeping the ball moving forward as we saw out the win after an early lead.
Max Power (7/10): Like Winchester, he kept possession well and worked hard to protect the defence. Filled in well at right back when Younger came on.
Jordan Jones (7/10): Jones’ pace is always going to cause problems at this level. Put a good ball in for Wyke’s header and was bright throughout. Lack of discipline got him a daft yellow.
Aiden O’Brien (5/10): This was O’Brien’s quietest game in a while. He was ineffective in the first half and nothing seemed to come off for the lad. Moved into midfield later on, and it was more of the same for him, but never hid and worked hard.
Aiden McGeady (8/10): Started the match like a house on fire. Untouchable at first, winning the free kick which he then took to create Sanderson’s goal. Always a menace, McGeady’s precision from set pieces created chaos in the box. Faded in the second half as the game was essentially won.
Charlie Wyke (7/10): Grabbed his nineteenth league goal this season and is showing no sign of his hot streak ending. Led the press against a Rochdale side who like to play out from the back. Held the ball up well and was a good outlet in the second half.
Josh Scowen (6/10): Plenty of energy and pressing as usual from Scowen.
Chris Maguire (7/10): Helped hit Rochdale on counter attacks later on and got into some dangerous positions.
Jack Diamond (5/10): Pretty ineffective but the game was already won.
Dan Neil (N/A): Came on to run the clock down.