Preston North End 2-2 Sunderland: Player ratings as Duncan Watmore makes encouraging return in much improved team display

Watmore made a promising return to action
Watmore made a promising return to action
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Sunderland remain in the bottom three despite securing a battling 2-2 draw at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon.

Here's how the players rated...

JASON STEELE

Will have been disappointed to concede the first but looked to be taken out of the move by Vaughan's attempt to clear. No chance with second. 6

BILLY JONES (Oviedo, 65)

Gave away the free-kick that Josh Harrop converted for Preston's equaliser, before going off injured in the second half. Part of an improved defence. 6

TYIAS BROWNING

A successful return to the side after the error against Nottingham Forest. Strong and dealt with any danger with minimum fuss. 6

JOHN O'SHEA

A steadying influence on a defence that had looked all at sea just days ago. 7

ADAM MATTHEWS

Beaten too easily early on by Barkhuizen but recovered well and looked a threat on the overlap after moving to right-back in the second half. 6

GEORGE HONEYMAN (Williams, 84)

Outstanding finish for the first goal, full of industry throughout. Looked to have the spring in his step back. 6

LEE CATTERMOLE

Excellent display in the middle of midfield. His early, lofted passes were important for Sunderland and his tenacity was the best it has been for some time. 7

DIDIER NDONG

Excellent discipline, with a number of important interceptions and tackles near his own box. Offered good protection for his defence. 7

AIDEN McGEADY

Stung by boos from the opening support, McGeady scored one superb goal and nearly added another. Also tracked back throughout and defended well. 7

LYNDEN GOOCH (Watmore, 64)

Superb assist for the first goal, and caused Preston plenty of problems in the second striker role. 6

JAMES VAUGHAN

Best display since the emphatic win over Norwich. Tireless up front, great flick-on for the first goal and an aerial threat throughout. 7

Subs

DUNCAN WATMORE

A nuisance for the opposition, making a number of excellent runs behind the defence. Hugely encouraging. 7

BRYAN OVIEDO

Defensively resolute back in his favoured position. 6

JONNY WILLIAMS

N/A

Unused: Ruiter, Kone, Gibson, McManaman

Preston North End XI: Maxwell; Fisher, Huntington, Davies, Earl; Browne, Johnson, Harrop, Barkhuizen (Horgan 69); Hugill (Mavididi, 77) Maguire (Robinson, 87)

Subs: Hudson, Vermijl, Woods, Spurr

Bookings: Fisher, 23 Steele, 68