Sunderland are unbeaten in their last three games in the Championship, but as a result of their draw with Preston North End yesterday, the Black Cats have now fallen to seventh in the very tight league table.
Tony Mowbray’s team are now eight points adrift from Sheffield United at the top of the table, and if Sunderland want to compete for a chance at promotion, winning games is an absolute must.
Despite having the majority of possession (63%), twice as many shots at goal (16 v eight) and far more accurate passes (81% v 68%), the hosts were unable to find a goal to take all three points from the game.
It seems like the striker injury crisis is finally taking its toll on the Black Cats, as, in the first half, they had six shots on goal but only one of those was on target. In fact, it was much the same in the second half, with 10 shots on goal and only one shot on target again.
It’s clear Sunderland are starting to feel the lack of creativity and absence of Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms, but there was one player in particular who failed Mowbray over the course of the game and could’ve caused a lot more trouble.
Corry Evans struggled to dominate the centre of the pitch throughout his performance and even had fewer touches of the ball than Anthony Patterson (36 v 39).
Before being hooked back to the bench by Mowbray in the 60th minute, the 32-year-old midfielder lost 75% of his duels, made no attempts to dribble the ball and lost possession every five touches, further proving that Evans lacked resilience and failed to deliver any creativity in his position.
Sunderland will need to quickly recover as they are set to take on Blackpool at the Stadium of Light again on Tuesday night, and they will be even more desperate to take all three points in their attempts to close the gap between themselves and the top spots in the table.
With that being said, Mowbray will be hoping his injury problems become a thing of the past sooner rather than later, as there is still a huge chunk of the Championship season left and many points to pick up – with Sunderland undoubtedly hoping they have a chance of competing for back to back promotions come the end of the season.