Friday 9 April 2021

A Real Test

Games don't come much tougher than tomorrow's trip to the Stadium of Light. However, it's a challenge we should welcome and this season we have tended to play poorly against teams lower in the league.

Sunderland's indifferent start to the season has given way to a long unbeaten run and more solid performances following the arrival of Lee Johnson.

Aiden McGeady has returned to the fold and formed a formidable partnership with Wyke and has provided him with plenty of assists!

We will need to be really solid defensively and also to take whatever chances come our way especially from set pieces.

I suspect that Adkins will want to stick with the starting eleven that secured the 3 points on Good Friday. Certainly it's hard to argue against keeping the same back four in front of Amos. Matthews and Purrington for me remain the best full back pairing and it'd be harsh on Pearce to drop him.

I didn't rate Gilbey last week as much as the manager did and would prefer to see Shinnie in his place.

I'm still puzzled by the omission of our best player, Aneke, week after week. I appreciate what Stockley does, however, it's nothing that Chuks can't do. In addition, I see no reason why the can't play together, something we've rarely seen this season.

Given that we've finally ended trying to play out from the back so much Aneke offers another option from goal kicks.

Stockley has shown what his physicality brings to our team and Aneke offers that too and the pair of them will scare League One defences.

Adkins has had the luxury of more than a week to work with the whole squad ahead of the game. He has one more week ahead of Ipswich before we return to two games a week on the final leg of the season.

The new manager will certainly need to make use of the whole squad in the last few weeks. He will be praying that he won't have to call upon his skills from his previous incarnation as a physio! It's fair to say that we're long overdue some luck with injuries.

A draw tomorrow wouldn't be disastrous in terms of our play-off hopes but a defeat would make it damn sight harder to achieve that goal.

Come On You Reds!



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