Rowell Report: It’s difficult to see where a spark of inspiration will come from in Sunderland squad

Didier Ndong.
Didier Ndong.
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Drawing must-win games isn’t the answer in a relegation scrap as Sunderland again threw away two points from a very winnable fixture against Burnley.

They had the chances, definitely so in the second half, but Burnley had good ones too as both teams could say they could have won.

A point was certainly better for the visitors, they won’t need much more to survive, while the point Sunderland gained just leaves us further marooned at the bottom.

A game where Sunderland had to come out with all guns blazing to try and get an early confidence boosting lead, saw just the opposite as nerves and tension took over and Sunderland produced a lacklustre and tepid first 45 minutes.

I was more than a bit surprised at the omission of record signing Didier Ndong, his energy was sorely missed as again our midfield looked one-paced and pedestrian.

Jermain Defoe after his England recall must have been brimming with confidence, but of the four decent chances Sunderland created in the second half not one fell his way when all it needed was one goal, just one goal to get the priceless 1-0 win that often keeps teams up.

Things are getting bleaker with every game, although mercifully there is another free weekend coming up and they are becoming the only pleasurable ones now.

As well as a miracle, Sunderland are looking for a spark from within to survive. Last year it was a successful January transfer window.

In Gus Poyet’s Great Escape season it was Connor Wickham, who was recalled and couldn’t stop scoring and for six weeks was outstanding.

Looking at the squad now, it is difficult to see – apart from perhaps a spate of Defoe goals – where that spark and inspiration can come from.