Sunderland got a well-earned three points in our opening fixture against Wigan. The Latics went ahead early on, but Aiden McGeady and Ross Stewart the lads back ahead. Here’s how they rated out of ten.
Lee Burge (6/10): Did the simple things well and was helpless for the rebounded goal. Still doesn't fill me with confidence as a promotion-chasing goalkeeper, fumbling a few tame shots.
Carl Winchester 7/10): Looked very composed for a player out of position. Got forward well on the overlap and always gave Gooch another option on the right. Hopefully it’s a minor injury because he could partially solve our fullback issue.
Tom Flanagan (7/10): Dealt with everything that he was faced with, and did well as the senior man besides young Callum Doyle.
Callum Doyle (9/10): Who would have thought he’s 17? He dominated Wyke in the air and didn’t put a foot wrong. You can tell he’s from Man City as Doyle’s passing was inch -perfect throughout.
Dan Neil (6/10): A game of two halves for Neil. Had a shaky start and it was clear he’s not a left-back. Everything looked unnatural, which makes sense because he’s a right footed central midfielder playing at left-back. But he did grow into the game and really impressed in the second half.
Corry Evans (8/10): Some tidy passing and did an excellent job of protecting the defence throughout. The new team captain showed all the attributes of a leader which was good to see.
Luke O’Nien (7/10): Had a good first half as we controlled the game and pushed forwards. As we let Wigan grow back into the match, O’Nien’s influence seemed to decrease in midfield though.
Lynden Gooch (8/10): Gooch was really on his game today. He knew he’d beaten his man before it happened, and the defence didn’t know how to stop him. Unlucky to not have a third goal after smashing a shot off the crossbar. The only issue was his decision making, once again. There were a number of times where he could have released Winchester, but held onto the ball for too long.
Elliot Embleton (7/10): The attacking midfielder was always looking to push forward, and his two-footed corners were crucial in our second goal. He pressed well and has earned more starts in future weeks.
Aiden McGeady (7/10): Like Embleton, McGeady was always looking to create. Although most of our play came from Lynden Gooch, the Irish winger was still a threat when involved until coming off early in the second half. Took his penalty well under a lot of pressure.
Ross Stewart (8/10): Lead the line extremely well with great energy and mobility. The Scot was very impressive in the air and with his hold up play. Did well to win the penalty, and got a well-earned goal with a nice finish in the second half.
Aiden O’Brien (6/10): Worked hard but didn’t have that extra bit of quality to help us in attack.
Jack Diamond (6/10): Showed good pace to stretch Wigan on the counter-attack, but didn’t do it too often as we were pinned back towards the end.
Bailey Wright (7/10): Came on as we moved to a back three and calmed us down as the lads held out for the win.