You can somewhat forgive Sunderland for not being at the races right now.
After having four games postponed and a squad ravaged by the ongoing pandemic, it will take Lee Johnson’s men a few weeks to get back up to speed.
However, what will be so frustrating is a second consecutive draw. Equally annoying, is the 1-1 result against Hull on Saturday evening. Time and time again the Mackems achieve that result and it’s now becoming a tiresome affair for supporters.
In front of the Sky television cameras on Saturday, Johnson’s men were quite poor, something that was typified by an error from goalkeeper Lee Burge. The former Coventry man spilt the ball from a free-kick and as a result, Reece Burke had a tap in.
A ‘keeper’s mistake is always elevated because it normally leads to a goal, but one man in the middle of the park made even more errors; Max Power.
The skipper has been inconsistent this season and this display demonstrated exactly why. In simple terms, he let Johnson down and the manager will have expected a much better performance from someone who should be leading by example.
Power was abject in midfield and was desperately poor in possession of the ball. The 27-year-old lost it on 23 occasions which for someone playing in a central role, is particularly abject.
In a normal situation, you’d assume that Johnson would take a long hard look at his position in the side. However, because he’s captain, Power has to be one of the first names on the team sheet.
It’s hard to neglect that he cost his team considerably on Saturday, though. If he played with more tempo and energy, taking greater care in control of the ball, it may have led to improved impetus in the final third. As such, there was no real link between defence and attack.
This was not the skipper’s finest 90 minutes. He has to improve.