For Sunderland supporters, they must be incredibly sick and tired now.
Their 1-1 draw against Fleetwood on Friday night just about summed up everything that’s gone wrong over the last few years.
Typically, they failed to hold onto their lead and thus, by the end of the weekend, they could slip ten points off top spot.
For Phil Parkinson, time is running out. He has already missed one bite at promotion and the Black Cats simply cannot afford to fall even further back.
One positive on Friday, however, was Charlie Wyke. The striker has been a rejuvenated figure this season and now has six goals in his last 11 outings for the Mackems.
He was again impressive in the draw against Fleetwood but arguably, there was a more vital component in Sunderland’s team.
That was midfielder Josh Scowen, someone who has been one of their most consistent figures in 2020/21.
He didn’t score or assist the goal but it was an influential all-action display from the middle of the park.
The ex-QPR man worked his way into the channels nicely and over the course of his time on the field, performed ten crosses and eight long balls forward.
Furthermore, Scowen completed 66% of his duels – 3 ground and 3 aerial – while he made two blocks and one tackle. The 27-year-old was a calm and assured player for the Black Cats, completing 100% of his dribbles too.
This was a measured display that went under the radar, one that certainly won’t draw too many plaudits. Yet, Scowen was the one to dictate the play from central areas, proving successful with 74% of his passes.
Of course, a game is not all about stats, but he was dependable and secure with the ball at his feet. That’s something you can’t say about a lot of the players that take to the field for Sunderland – for instance, Danny Graham made just seven passes all game on Friday.
Scowen, on the other hand, plays with dedication and is proving exactly why he’s one of the first names on Parkinson’s team sheet.
He is a rare shining light at the moment.
In other news, check out who could benefit from Lynden Gooch’s injury blow…