When Sunderland travel away from the northeast under Lee Johnson, they appear to be a formidable force.
Their 1-0 win over Ipswich means that Lee Johnson is yet to taste defeat on the road since taking over The Mackems.
Although they need to improve at the Stadium of Light, it will bring them enormous confidence that they can go away and defeat fellow promotion hopefuls. Their 4-0 win over Lincoln was eye-catching but their ability to grind out a 1-0 victory at Ipswich should also be applauded.
Of course, they were helped by the red card to Ipswich’s Kayden Jackson who was given his marching orders after an appalling challenge on Bailey Wright, but they were good value for their win despite that.
Charlie Wyke was once again in the right place at the right time as he took his League One tally for the campaign to 12 strikes as he got the only goal of the game. The tall striker has been indomitable in recent weeks and is finding the net with superb regularity.
Though, it was arguably his supplier that was Johnson’s true hero on Tuesday night. Max Power delivered an inch-perfect cross that Wyke was able to get on the end of to prod the ball home.
Since moving to right-back, Power has defined his own surname. He is a force on the flanks and uses tremendous energy to get up and down. He linked well with Aiden O’Brien, particularly for the goal.
The winger beat his man and then put the ball into the path of the rampaging Power who provided the cross.
He was also keen to get on the ball and the very fact he touched it on 122 occasions goes to show what a threat the right-back was. Power had 66 more touches than the highest haul registered by an Ipswich player and managed 31 more touches than the next best for the Black Cats.
His influence was mighty, winning more aerial duels (3) than anyone besides Bailey Wright and Jordan Willis for Sunderland. Josh Scowen, meanwhile, was the only person to win more ground duels (4) than Power (3).
This was an all-action display but we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, he delivered a similar showing against Port Vale in the Papa John’s Trophy a few weeks ago.
This, however, was a far more important game with promotion aspirations on the line and Power delivered the goods.