Before this weekend, Sunderland hadn’t really reached top gear under Lee Johnson quite yet.
That changed, though, when they travelled to face Wimbledon. A 3-0 victory was the scoreline as Charlie Wyke took his former employers to the cleaners.
The tall striker was in terrific form as he found the net three times, taking his tally for the campaign in League One to ten.
It was a bustling display from the Black Cats, who will take a great deal of confidence from this game. After all, they are now three points behind Charlton, Doncaster and Peterborough in the play-off positions. Importantly, they also have two games in hand over the Addicks.
With Wyke bang in form, there’s certainly no reason why they can’t start rising up the table in double-quick time.
However, they will need the enigmatic Aiden McGeady to discover some consistency.
The Irishman bagged late on from the penalty spot in Sunderland’s Papa John’s Trophy victory over Port Vale but when he started against Wimbledon on Saturday, he was nothing short of abject.
Chronicle reporter James Hunter typified his display with the following post-match review: “Gave the ball away time and again, offered little threat, and it was no surprise to see him subbed.”
Indeed, McGeady was brought off after 73 minutes having surrendered possession a mighty 15 times throughout the clash.
For context, no Mackems player in the final third gave the ball away as regularly as he did. Disappointingly, though, was his lack of end product.
The former Celtic man was unsuccessful with all three of the dribbles he attempted while he didn’t provide a single cross from the left-hand side. For someone with so much individual quality, this was a very average performance, one that let Johnson down.
Of course, Sunderland still won but it will be concerning that even during a good team performance, he looked anonymous.
McGeady was stopped well by the wall of Shane McLoughlin at right-back for Wimbledon. He won four out of the five ground duels he contested while he also didn’t make a single foul. That shows just how much the Sunderland winger struggled against him on Saturday.
With Jack Diamond coming on and having an instant impact by hitting the post, McGeady will have to be careful of he could lose his place in the side. If performances like this continue, the manager will have little choice but to get red of him from his starting XI.
Johnson won’t have walked away from London very impressed with the 34-year-old.