Gary Rowell: Sunderland took step back against Norwich

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist

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EVERY time Sunderland take a step forward at the moment, they seem to take two steps backwards.

There could not have been a bigger contrast between their displays against Stoke and Norwich.

While the Stoke game was vibrant, positive and full of energy, Sunderland were slow, lethargic and lacklustre down at Carrow Road.

I thought we had turned our season around by beating an excellent Stoke team and we would be full of energy and confidence, but it was the complete opposite.

It wasn’t until Kieran Richardson scored that we had any urgency and that is what people are mystified about.

I am convinced the players want to do well, but you are thinking where has it gone wrong in a week?

In the first half, we maybe had more possession, but we never hurt Norwich and never got in behind them.

The build-up was slow and without that explosive spark, Norwich were quite happy to just get back into position and wait to win the ball back.

Everything we played was in front of Norwich and they just shut up shop.

It was similar to Chelsea that it took a late goal to give us any momentum and by then it was too late.

But it would have been a travesty if Sunderland had got anything out of the game. Norwich dominated in terms of doing something with the ball and posing a threat.

It was a performance that really let people down when they were expecting a lot more.

READ the full column in Thursday’s Echo