Just over a week ago, Sunderland looked like they’d achieve automatic promotion at a canter.
Lee Johnson’s side were unbeaten in 14 games in all competitions and had been the most in-form team in League One.
With two games in hand, they could have risen to first place and taken command of the race for a Championship spot.
However, they have now failed to take three points from their last trio of games. They drew 1-1 with Peterborough and have suffered back to back defeats against Charlton and Wigan.
You can forgive the result against the Addicks but losing to a relegation-threatened side this week was woeful to say the least.
As they lost 2-1, Johnson’s men were made to rue a succession of defensive mistakes from set-pieces. After breaking up the partnership of Dion Sanderson and Luke O’Nien at the back, the Mackems were all over the shop when Wigan came forward.
Johnson revealed at full-time that he felt let down by some of his players but one individual who did turn up – as he usually does – was Jordan Jones.
The Rangers loanee has been scintillating since penning temporary terms in January and it would be a crime if they failed to go up with him in the team.
Jones is the definition of a classic winger; beat your man and then whip in a cross. He has done that to devastating effect since arriving at the Stadium of Light and Charlie Wyke has feasted as a result.
He is reaping the rewards from having Aiden McGeady on one side and Jones on the other. The former has been outstanding this term and has registered 13 assists.
That being said, it’s Jones who deserves the praise on this occasion. Against Wigan, he was a menace down the right-hand side and spent the vast majority of the game in the right-hand corner of the pitch.
Jones was so impressive on Tuesday evening that Mackems reporter James Hunter said he was “torturing” the opposition.
Indeed, Wigan aren’t the first to receive a schooling by the flying winger this term. He made Oxford United full-back Jamie Hanson look dazed and confused after beating him with a brilliant bit of trickery in their win a few weeks ago.
The 26-year-old showed similar quick feet in the defeat to Wigan. Although he couldn’t stop his side from losing, the attacker performed two dribbles and provided ten crosses.
Only McGeady managed more take-ons but no one on the whole pitch managed more balls into the box than Jones.
If Sunderland are to have any chance of sealing promotion, they will need to count on the Rangers winger. He delivered on Tuesday night but wasn’t ably backed up by those behind them.
He can only carry the workload with McGeady and Wyke so much.