Playing Josh Maja situation out in public isn't wise and threatens to derail Sunderland's season
Two point lost or one point gained? That was the question after Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Luton Town.
Certainly, after the game, manager Jack Ross preferred to look to the positives.
Ross said: “If we don’t win at home we always feel frustrated and disappointed. But we were playing against a good team.
“I know when I say that it’s another point towards the total, people will say that I’m deflecting attention away because we haven’t won.
“But there’s an element of fact about it. We are in a good position at the moment - not a great position, but a good position.
“We still have a game in hand over those top two teams and if we win that game in hand then we will be in an even better position.”
Hard to argue with that kind of logic, and I’m certainly not recommending any sort of hysteria about the result.
However, I do see one or two things that give me cause for concern – the main one being the possible departure of Josh Maja.
Yeah, I know, ‘no one player is bigger than the club’, ‘he should stand up to his agent’, ‘his agent is a this, that and the other’.
But there’s no doubt the kid is a miss.
He gives us goals, probably suits the way we are playing better than any of other current forwards, and looks like he will only get better.
Of course, the club can’t afford to be held to ransom, but whatever fee he commands should he go in this transfer window, in my opinion he won’t be easy to replace.
It is easy to say that it should have been sorted before now, but there was a huge period of transition for the club with the new owners coming in last summer, and dropping down a division.
But I do hope lessons have been learned.
It’s all become a bit ‘he said, she said’ at the minute, but whatever the whys and the wherefores, I don’t think going public with deadlines etc has been a wise move.
I can’t see where that was ever going to be beneficial – I guess we will find out if he stays or goes in the coming couple of weeks.
I hope it’s the former, but if it’s going to be the latter then let’s hope we have something up our sleeves to replace the goals Maja brings to the side.
The other thing I worry about (well one of them) is that the weight of expectation doesn’t become a burden.
It has been refreshing to enjoy the football, the atmosphere and the results this term (and yes before those lads who like to shout at shops get upset, it is only League One and it was only your academy side, no one here is getting carried away).
But this is virtually a new squad, and while we should hopefully have enough about us to make sure we go up, let’s not start taking it for granted.
And let’s not start to worry too much when things aren’t going our way.
The superb support has once again been a joy to behold this season and long may it continue.
Let’s keep getting behind the lads, win, lose or draw and let’s hope it will be a season to remember.
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