Sunderland need to brush themselves down and get going again after a defeat to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday takes them to four matches on the spin without a victory.
Antoine Semenyo was a bright spark on his full debut, however, and dealt well with the pressure of replacing Lynden Gooch, who has made 11 goal contributions this term.
The Bristol City loanee was successful with three out of four dribbling attempts, per SofaScore, and he showed energy off the ball, too, with a tackle and an interception meaning he has rightly been praised by fans for the effort he showed.
Semenyo the only player tonight that looked like he wanted to be there. The rest weren’t interested.
— Speak Sunderland (@SpeakSAFC) March 10, 2020
Honestly Semenyo is the only one who deserves any credit tonight. At least he’s having a go. #safc
— Jordan Ramsey (@RamseySAFC) March 10, 2020
Fair play Bristol Rovers, deserved the W, none of our players showed up, no build up just kept belting it up field wasting possession. Semenyo only player with fight in him, bye Championship football, next season is more League 1 #SAFC
— Aidan_112 (@AidanMuers) March 10, 2020
Judging by fans’ comments, the worry is that the desire shown by Semenyo was not replicated by his teammates, who lacked urgency throughout and were also short of ideas of how to break down a stubborn Rovers backline.
Former player Stephen Elliott emphasised the lack of desire of players in his post-match analysis, and the fact that 19-year-old Semenyo was the only player to show fight and character is a worrying sign.
Despite that, it shows Phil Parkinson that he has a dependable player to call upon, as Semenyo proved effective and perhaps could have won his team the points if he had received more sufficient help from those around him.
The Black Cats’ boss may now have a difficult call to make as Gooch will be eager to return to the starting line-up, and perhaps a more attacking formation could be adopted given the need for goals.
Nearly an opportunity for Sunderland, good work from Semenyo on the counter and his long ball to Mcguire is just overhit. He has been by far our brightest attacking player so far.
— A LOVE SUPREME (@ALS_Fanzine) March 10, 2020
Absolutely disgraceful that. Not 1 of them can come away with any credit. Semenyo looked dangerous 1st half but didn’t have a kick 2nd. Rest of them pathetic. Gutless. Parkinson really needs to lay into them. #bristolrovers won every 2nd ball, played well & deserved win #SAFC
— Andrew Tonge (@tongey93) March 10, 2020
None of these players, Semenyo aside, deserve an ounce of credit tonight. They’ve disgraced the badge with their ineptitude, and most likely thrown away promotion as a result of their dismal performance tonight. One of the worst nights for a very long time. #SAFC 🔴⚪️
— Philip West (@Philip_RJ89) March 10, 2020
Had 1 decent performance all night and that’s from semenyo. #SAFC
— Kirby (@LiamKirby16) March 10, 2020
In other news, one aspect of the players’ performance against Bristol Rovers has been a big topic of discussion for some…