At long last, we may actually watch Sunderland play some football on Saturday.
It has been a number of weeks now since the Black Cats last played due to a bout of Covid but the scene around the club is thankfully improving.
Sunderland put in a rather mixed display against Wimbledon last time out. Callum McFadzean gave away a first-half penalty which put the Mackems on the back foot.
Fortunately, Bailey Wright popped up with a second-half equaliser which saved Lee Johnson’s blushes.
It has been a frustrating period for the new boss whose chances of putting his stamp down on this side have been halted.
It’s likely that a number of changes will be made to the starting XI given their players have recovered from the illness that pillaged the squad and thus, George Dobson could be one of the names to miss out.
He played alongside Grant Leadbitter and Elliot Embleton in the middle of the park against Wimbledon but was withdrawn at the interval after barely making an impact. He won just two duels which led to a number of supporters mercilessly slating his display.
Well, the simple thing to do would be to axe him completely. Johnson needs to be ruthless in his early days as Sunderland boss and this would send a big message that he needs to improve.
Dobson has only started three league matches as it is this term and once Josh Scowen returns, he could be in a spot of bother.
The midfielder has had a tough time of it, producing just 0.4 tackles a match from the games he’s played in this campaign. For a defensive midfielder, it’s not an ideal tally.
But there’s more to Dobson’s game that isn’t up to scratch. The 23-year-old rarely plays on the front foot and struggles to provide a positive impetus. He let himself down with some poor touches and passes against Wimbledon and that cannot afford to happen again.
One possible solution could be to bring in Max Power providing he’s fit. He missed out last time but already has ten starts to his name in 2020/21. It feels like a no-brainer to drop Dobson and bring him in.
Johnson has to be brutal.