Luton were relentless but Sunderland must start killing teams off

Saturday's game with Luton wasn't short of controversy or talking points with red cards, a very dubious penalty and a bizarre referring performance.

Monday, 14th January 2019, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th January 2019, 10:35 pm
Jon McLaughlin was again in great form against Luton.

The outcome was Sunderland having to settle for yet another draw and there has been far too many of them already this season.

However, despite the frustrations we all knew how tough this game was going to be and I’d say Luton are the best team I have seen come to Wearside this season.

So a point might not turn out to be a bad one in the long run.

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When I heard of Portsmouth’s surprise defeat at home to Blackpool it made that point just a bit better because if you told me at 3pm we would only draw yet still make up ground on the league leaders I couldn’t have imagined that.

For the second game in succession Sunderland took an early lead but had to settle for a share of the spoils, which suggests we need to learn to kill teams off but whereas at The Valley Sunderland were controlling the game, that was never the case against Luton Town.

Even when Chris Maguire scored on Saturday I never felt comfortable, as Luton were relentless and it was man of the match Jon McLaughlin who kept Sunderland in the lead with three incredible saves.

McLaughlin is turning out to be one of Sunderland’s best signings for years and Jack Ross got him on a free transfer so we didn’t exactly break the bank to get him which was so important in the summer.

The fact that McLaughlin was Sunderland’s star man tells its own story, Luton were worthy of a point and yes we can point to the soft penalty and McGeady rattling the crossbar as bad luck but I am really not sure Sunderland did enough to win over the 90 minutes.

Luton went into the game having lost their manager during the week and I was hoping the disruption might affect them but it didn’t, they were very well organised and focused.

That was probably because Luton legend – and Sunderland fan – Mick Harford took control and if any Luton player was feeling sorry for themselves, one stare from Mick would definitely make them think again and to a man every Luton player worked tirelessly for their caretaker boss.

So another frustrating draw, or a useful point, especially with Portsmouth losing. Maybe this time it was both.