Sunderland were dealt a setback in their promotion bid on Tuesday with a Jordan Clark-Harris double giving Bristol Rovers a 2-0 win over the Black Cats, much to the disappointment of fans.
Supporters and pundits made their feelings known after the match, with a lot of criticism being aired in regard to the players, for both their lack of ability and the poor attitude shown.
It is worth remembering that the north-east outfit have now played four matches in two weeks, so fatigue could be a factor, but the fact they are winless in that period has caused frustration – which has now leaked out.
Phil Parkinson tried to put Saturday’s disappointment behind the team by bringing in Antoine Semenyo and Josh Scowen for their full debuts, but the latter really didn’t impress.
Not true at all, we saw last night why Scowen hasn’t been getting games. The reason we’re on a bad run is because the form of inconsistent players we have in the squad has dipped again, simple as that
— David Hindmarsh (@DavidHindmarsh7) March 11, 2020
2 shots on target against a team with 1 win in 18? Joke. Scowen comes in with a point to prove and puts in a performance like that? Embarrassing. Having Lynch and Smith available and persisting with Ozturk? Unforgivable
— Alex Devine (@ASDevine95) March 10, 2020
At least now everyone can shut up about playing Scowen & Semenyo.
Worst 45 minutes we’ve played in a long time!
— antony. (@antoneee_x) March 10, 2020
No wonder Scowen hasn’t been in the team. Don’t think I’ve seen him pass to a Sunderland player yet
— Scott Cooper (@scottSAFCcooper) March 10, 2020
Fail to see what he does. Nevermind what he can do that dobson can’t?
— Chan (@2Jackscott) March 10, 2020
While some sections of the fanbase are understandably irritated with the loss, the fact Scowen hasn’t played much in recent weeks should be taken into account, as he is very much still getting accustomed to his teammates on the pitch, having spent only 36 minutes on the pitch prior to Tuesday since signing in January.
However, some used Scowen’s underwhelming display as another example of poor recruitment from the club, and questioned the reason why he was brought in at all, which is very fair given how sparingly he has been used.
What was the point in signing Scowen? 5’7 centre midfielder and who doesn’t score (or even get forward). Total opposite of what we needed
— Herra (@JHerra18) March 10, 2020
Recruitment ? Scowen made his first start today. Semenyo made his first start today. Lafferty made his first start today. John still hasn’t made an appearance. The players he’s signed can’t even get in to his plans …
— Speak Sunderland (@SpeakSAFC) March 10, 2020
One high-profile Sunderland pundit took aim at the players following the performance against the Gas, here’s what he had to say…