Sunderland have a mountain to climb yet again.
Their result against Fleetwood on Friday evening was another step in the wrong direction as Phil Parkinson’s men drew 1-1 in Lancashire.
The Black Cats went a goal ahead through Charlie Wyke but in a classic Sunderland turn of events, they blew their lead.
Time and time again that’s happened over the last few years and it’s now got to the stage of tedious with the club’s supporters.
As fans took to social media to profess their dismay with manager Phil Parkinson, they were right to voice their frustrations. If results go against them this weekend then they will have slipped ten points off top spot.
Of course, promotion through the playoffs is still a possibility but there is a lingering sense of negativity surrounding the club. You feel that not even a takeover could fix that.
But while despair was the overriding feeling after the game, much of the criticism should have been directed at Danny Graham, a man who simply hasn’t been at the races this season.
The striker, who has still only scored twice in 54 outings over two separate spells in the north-east, typified his bad luck in front of goal against Fleetwood.
The 35-year-old lacked any threat and struggled with his passing and link-up play. Graham was eventually hauled off on 70 minutes having had just one shot.
During his time on the pitch, the forward completed just seven passes – a 47% success rate – and he also failed to win many duels in the air or on the ground.
The veteran’s success in that area stood at only 20%. To make matters worse, Graham was also dispossessed of the ball 11 times. Whenever it went to him, he seemed to have a negative impact on proceedings.
With two attackers in Will Grigg and Graham at their disposal, the Mackems should be soaring up the table. Instead, neither can find the back of the net despite their impressive records in the EFL.
This is a huge concern for Parkinson.