Chris Coleman hasn’t had much in the way of resources with which to overhaul his Sunderland side this season so his work has largely been on repeatedly shuffling the pack to see if he can find a winning formula.
For the Good Friday trip to Derby County, Lynden Gooch got the nod for the first time in nine matches and he proved to be something of a joker in the pack for the former Wales manager.
The American playmaker showed passion and craft as the Black Cats thrashed Gary Rowett’s promotion chasers 4-1 at Pride Park to haul themselves into 23rd in the Championship and to within three points of safety.
George Honeyman, Ashley Fletcher – his first for the club – Aiden McGeady and captain John O’Shea might have got the goals but nobody impressed the travelling fans more than Gooch.
All they want is for the midfielder to keep it up in the last seven games of the season to give their side the best possible chance of survival and we’ve taken a look at the best of the reaction…
Different quality you tonight lad ?????
— Proudlock (@TomSneaks) March 31, 2018
Quality tonight lad, worked your socks off too.
— Andy (@SAFCsource) March 30, 2018
Man of the match Lynden
— David Garbutt (@garby73) March 31, 2018
Nobody deserved it more than you tonight, ran your heart out
— Matthew Powell (@Powell_Matthew) March 30, 2018
I wear my #Gooch27 shirt with pride. Hasn't featured in 9 games, starts and is (Imo) the MOTM.
— Cameron Johnson (@xFludeh) March 31, 2018
100% mate every week. Fully deserved result, good lad!
— Mark Burke (@MSBurkey) March 31, 2018
Fair play Lynden. That’s all we ever ask for. As much effort on the pitch as we put in off the pitch. Rocky road but we will back you through every step. Hawaythelads.
— Gary Bellamy (@Gaz_Bellamy) March 31, 2018
Outstanding gooch lad
— BlackCatYank (@M_Coan47) March 31, 2018
That expression of passion says it all! @lyndengooch46 red and white through and through
— Ben Barker (@Ben_B_1997) March 31, 2018