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Sunderland’s Max Power returns to form

When you’re a club captain, you should be adored by supporters. You should be the go-to man in a crisis, the pillar of solidity who sets an example for the rest of the team.

However, with Max Power, that isn’t often the case. The midfielder endured a torrid evening when the club drew with Hull City last week and thus, we questioned his leadership abilities.

Well, he certainly quashed the doubters on Tuesday evening in the Papa John’s trophy. Although the tournament holds little significance for the Mackems, Power returned to form and epitomised his very own surname.

Bizarrely, however, his encouraging performance came at right-back, a position pretty much alien to the 27-year-old. Despite that, he did a fantastic job and he was surprisingly mobile up and down the right flank.

Should Power play at right-back more often?

Definitely

Definitely

No way

No way

It was a complete performance and such was Port Vale’s tepidness to attack, he was allowed plenty of freedom and room to go forward.

Power was relatively poor in possession, losing the ball 30 times, but other than that, he was a beacon of positivity for Lee Johnson’s side in their 2-0 win, stealing the show from a defensive point of view.

He won seven of the nine duels he contested in and delivered some mean crosses from the channels that scared the life out of the Vale defence.

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Who is the player?

On four occasions, the right-back got forward and delivered a ball into the box, but unfortunately, they came to nothing. However, that may demonstrate why he lost the ball so regularly. The £3.9k-per-week earner was willing to put dangerous balls into the area and he was unlucky not to provide a rare assist for his troubles.

Despite losing possession fairly often with his risk-taking crossing and long balls, when he kept the ball on the deck, the right-back was assured. He completed the fourth-highest number of passes in the Black Cats side – 88%.

Power was so good that he forced the opposition left-back, Adam Crookes, to be subbed off. Before he was removed, he completed just 50% of his passes and had to make three tackles, exemplifying just how dangerous the right-hand side was for Sunderland.

The Sunderland skipper was a rampaging force down the channel, linking up delightfully with goal scorer Aiden O’Brien, who also proved to be a menace for Crookes.

After his rather inept performance against Hull, this was a welcome display from Power. Perhaps he needs to play on the right more often?

AND in other news, Forget O’Brien: SAFC “nightmare” who won 87.5% of his duels was Johnson’s real hero…

Article title: Sunderland’s Max Power returns to form

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