Sunderland will be looking to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat to Charlton on Saturday as they travel away to face QPR in the League Cup on Tuesday.
The Black Cats succumbed to a loss at the weekend as Jayden Stockley scored the only goal for the Addicks, sending Sunderland down to fourth in the table.
They now have a chance to regain momentum and gain some confidence as they face a Championship side in QPR, with the chance of progressing through to the fifth round of the competition.
Lee Johnson could make some changes to his team to freshen the team up and give other players a chance to show that they deserve to start in the league. As part of this, one player he must ruthlessly axe from the team is attacking midfielder Alex Pritchard.
The former Huddersfield and Norwich playmaker recorded the joint-lowest SofaScore rating (6.4) for Sunderland against Charlton as turned in a worrying display in midfield. Per the same source, he lost 85.7% (6/7) of his duels on the pitch, whilst failing to make a single tackle, interception, block or clearance.
This shows that he was a lightweight in his 50/50 battles and did not put the hard work in defensively to win possession back and get his side back on the front foot.
On the ball, he was inconsistent. Via SofaScore, he created three chances for his teammates as he showed off his quality to open up defences in the final third. However, he also had a dribble success rate of 0% and gave possession away 20 times from 52 touches, whilst also completing three of his eight attempted crosses and long balls.
Therefore, he was not able to prove that he can be reliable off the ball or on the ball. Despite showing flashes of quality, the overall standard of his performance was not good enough and that was reflected in the final score as Charlton won the match.
Johnson must axe Pritchard from the XI for the encounter with QPR after proving himself to be a liability to the team, giving him the chance to get his head down in training and focus on next weekend’s League One game against Rotherham. Hopefully, it will fuel the fire inside the midfielder and encourage him to up his levels ahead of playing a starring role against the Millers.