ANOTHER derby, another chance to win at home missed – particularly given the fact we had the supposed advantage of the extra man for 60 minutes.
The previous squaring up and hot-headed challenges weren’t as apparent, yet Newcastle’s Tiote got the red card he was due in the last meeting between the teams.
I wasn’t too downbeat when they scored as I always knew we’d need to score twice in order to win. But it was a frustrating game from a Sunderland perspective.
Those same under-par players failed to get going while the team collectively were struggling to break down the Magpies’ rearguard.
In terms of our system – on paper – O’Neill lines his preferred three attacking player behind a clinical lone striker as Chelsea do.
However, not only is there a gulf in class but we seem to have too much of a predictable and rigid structure which makes us rather ineffective. Only when we loosened up and McClean went to the right, did we really cause them problems.
Sunderland’s 12th man (the crowd) did have the ground reverberating at one point, which is what you need when things aren’t quite going your way.
I’m not sure a draw is much good for either side as far as producing lift-off for our seasons.
To read the rest of the Echo Jury, please see tonight’s Sunderland Echo.