SUNDERLAND reporter Chris Young gives his verdict on the Black Cats’ Capital One Cup second round victory over Birmingham.
Pantilimon - 7, Solid debut and did everything asked of him with the minimum of fuss.
Vergini - 7, Some nice pieces of control going forwards and handled the lively Cotterill effectively
O’SHEA - 8, Dominated in the air against a strike partnership in Thomas and Donaldson who were always looking to pounce on any mistake.
Brown - 7, Like O’Shea, solid against the Birmingham front two, yet fortunate to escape with a mistimed clearance when the hosts hit the post on the stroke of half-time
Jones - 6, Didn’t look as comfortable as at right-back and exposed by Birmingham winger Duffy just before the interval.
Bridcutt - 5, Far too many errant passes and Sunderland clearly liked the drive of Cattermole.
Larsson - 6, Typical workmanlike display against his former club, but too many slack passes (Giaccherini 7, bonus to have him back so soon from injury and produced a slick break to set up Wickham for the third)
Gomez - 7, Beautiful strike to finally bring the game into life, although he struggled to create prior to that moment.
Johnson - 6, Sealed Sunderland’s safe-passage into the third round on the rebound, but had been a peripheral presence up to that point.
Wickham - 6, Again, was unavoidable to draw the conclusion that he needs to be used centrally, rather than out wide. Showed his finishing prowess with a cool shot for the third.
Altidore - 6, Flashed a half-volley over the bar in the first half and persistently looked for the pass in-behind, but lacked service.
BIRMINGHAM: Doyle 6, Eardley 7 (Spector 6), Robinson 7, Edgar 6, Duffy 7 (Novak 6), Gleeson 7, Donaldson 6, Thomas 6, Cotterill 7, Hall 6, Caddis 6