When Sunderland welcomed Wimbledon to the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening, Lee Johnson sat there knowing the game shouldn’t have been going ahead.
Whatever the result last night, there was going to be an excuse – not many are reasonable in football but as the Black Cats drew 1-1, they had a very viable one.
Heading into the game Sunderland had eight players ruled out due to a COVID-19 scare. Johnson revealed that the club had received very little help from the EFL as the Mackems dropped crucial points in the race for promotion.
It meant that individuals like Dion Sanderson, George Dobson and Aiden O’Brien all got drafted into the XI for rare starts this season.
It took Sunderland until 62 minutes to finally score as Bailey Wright found the net expertly, but unfortunately for the Australian and the rest of his side, the man next to him in defence had a woeful night.
Callum McFadzean was deputising for the injured Denver Hume at left-back but his performance will have left the manager seething and asking questions.
It was McFadzean who gave away the penalty from which Wimbledon scored, an incident which rather summed up the 26-year-old’s match.
This was a night to forget for the full-back, someone who needed to prove plenty given he’d started on just one other occasion in League One this term.
Once Hume is back, it would be surprising to see McFadzean near the starting XI again. That may seem harsh, but he let his team down, conceding two fouls and completing only 74% of his passes.
On a day where Johnson needed his players to fight for the club, his left-back looked bereft of confidence, failing to make a successful tackle, interception or block.
With Hume set to remain on the sidelines for another fortnight or so, McFadzean will need to discover form from somewhere.