Kyle Lafferty was finally given his full Sunderland debut on Saturday and he didn’t disappoint after scoring twice in the second half to seemingly give the home side all three points, until a late equaliser prevented that.
It has been almost two months since the Northern Ireland international joined the club but he has had to be patient for his opportunity to shine, with Phil Parkinson preferring Charlie Wyke up-front.
Fans have called for Wyke to be dropped and his unavailability at the weekend meant they finally got their wish, and will be determined to see more of Lafferty after his strong showing.
Wyke was guilty of missing chances away at Coventry in the match before but Lafferty made no mistake with his chances, and he has been praised by supporters partly because of his two well-taken goals.
Kyle and Big Jon were the main positives (if only positives) of yesterday. Kyle must start on Tuesday
— Tom Lee (@TomNixon03) March 8, 2020
Kyle lafferty is class like, he’s even bigging Wyke up now #safc
— Kane Alexander Axel (@kanej1988) March 9, 2020
Lafferty took his opportunity, now PP needs to stick with him
— Alan B (@AlanBsafc) March 8, 2020
Great performance from Lafferty But we needed the win !!! He Has to Start and we have to learn how to shut up shop when we need to in these vital games 😌😉please not playoffs again 🙏🙏🙏🙏
— Chef Paul Askew (@Porkyaskew) March 8, 2020
Parkinson will have a selection dilemma on his hands when Wyke returns, as although he may be tempted the play both strikers alongside one another, that would mean a move away from his tried and tested 3-4-3 style.
What he must be careful not to do is depriving Lafferty of game time once more, as that carries the risk of knocking the 32-year-old’s confidence and possibly his desire to play for the team, too.
Instead, he could continue scoring goals and proving his worth, and if he manages to do that he could earn a contract that allows him to serve the club beyond this season.
Fans may be keen on that, as they are certainly hoping he starts more often in the remaining matches.
It was great to see him get his full start & he certainly showed that he knows where the net is!
Surly he must now be selected ahead of Charlie & given a chance to continue to show what he’s got!
Well done Kyle!
— Graeme (@gmangeegee) March 8, 2020
Lafferty starts every game when fit for me. No disrespect to Wyke but Lafferty is a international striker and his all round game is on another level to Charlie’s.
— Wayne Davis (@Wayne_Davis81) March 8, 2020
Should’ve started weeks ago…. https://t.co/azgS5qOGbW
— SafcNic (@nic_safc) March 8, 2020
In other Sunderland news, one former player has condemned a key figure at the club for Saturday’s poor result…