EXCRUCIATING. How many chances do Sunderland want in a week against teams in the lower half to muster a home win?, writes Gary Harrison
I knew we didn’t have two goals in us, and approaching the break we barely looked capable of one. Southampton had reduced us to no efforts early on while they also looked the sharper passers and more likely on the break.
It certainly looked like Di Canio had to get his wayward and leggy side in at the interval to remind them of the importance of the game because it didn’t look apparent by performance.
In the second half, Sunderland managed some fight, even providing Graham with a chance that either he wasn’t ready for or was unable to control; at best it looked like a good dummy to the far post.
It remained a question of who could actually get a decent strike in on goal. Wickham may have given some energy to the attack, but, like his striking counterpart, Graham, didn’t burst into the box enough.
Then, Johnson, whose close control was reasonable, ventured forward with Bardsley eager on the overlap ... goal!
Defensively, I questioned his inclusion early on, but for heart and determination we could do with more like him.
How, though, could we switch off to leave it in the balance another week?
To read the rest of the Echo Jury, please see tonight’s Sunderland Echo.