Six things we learned: Pressure grows on Simon Grayson, Sunderland can't defend and Bolton is a huge six-pointer

Fears of a second successive relegation were heightened on Saturday with another dismal home defeat, this time to Bristol City.

Sunday, 29th October 2017, 8:07 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 10:05 pm
Aiden McGeady is fouled. Picture by Frank Reid.

Sunderland fell behind to a carbon copy of the goal conceded against QPR before Lewis Grabban's equaliser. A woeful second half saw City leave Wearside with the win.

Here's what we learned:

Aiden McGeady is fouled. Picture by Frank Reid.

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Grayson points fingers at players but plenty pointing finger at him.

The Sunderland boss was left angry and frustrated by another inept home showing, hitting out at his players in his post-match interview.

While the players were again booed off with chants of 'You're not fit to wear the shirt' there are is a growing number of supporters pointing the finger at Grayson.

Darron Gibson's selection was a surprise but the midfield three looked promising early on but Sunderland fell apart second half. Team shape, tactics all out the window.

Billy Jones in action.

Grayson's subs failed to have an impact again.

Lee Johnson does his homework.

As ever, Sunderland started well enough before the inevitable goal for the opposition, Bobby Reid headed the visitors into the lead from Callum O'Dowda's corner.

It was a replica of the goal Sunderland conceded against QPR, Jason Steele pinned in and failing o make any attempt to punch or catch the ball.

Sunderland attack a corner.

A runner to the back post, loses his man, heads home. Sunderland cannot defend set pieces. Sunderland can't defend.

All too easy for Bristol City, who had worked on the set piece routine.

Billy Jones endures difficult afternoon defensively.

Time and time again Bristol City targeted Sunderland's right-hand side. Jones was given little protection second half but City had obviously spotted a weak link.

Aiden McGeady is fouled. Picture by Frank Reid.

Adam Matthews started the season well enough but has falled out of favour while Jones isn't pulling up any trees at the moment.

Jones was often caught out of position but did look better going forward. Bryan Oviedo did impress at left-back.

Didier Ndong looked better in a midfield three.

The Gabon international was Sunderland's best player in the first half, constantly looking for the ball and putting in some tough challanges.

Playing Gibson in front of the defence allowed Ndong and Jonny Williams to play further up the pitch and Ndong looked better for it.

He looked better in a midfield three but Grayson - provided he remains in charge - is likely to make further changes and tweaks for the visit of Bolton given the woeful second half.

Billy Jones in action.

Bolton is a six-pointer.

A late Fulham equaliser prevented Bolton Wanderers drawing level on points with Sunderland ahead of the huge game at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night.

Bolton are unbeaten in three and will fancy their chances of coming away from Wearside with at least a point.

This Sunderland squad is woefully underperforming and could find themselves bottom on Tuesday night. A massive night is in store.

There was some good news...

More home woe for Sunderland but the defeat did see the return of Paddy McNair to the Sunderland squad, the Northern Ireland international returning from the bench late on.

McNair came on with 12 minutes to go, replacing Gibson who started well enough but his influence dropped off a cliff in the second half.

McNair has been out for 11 months so his return is a very welcome one.

Sunderland fans won't see the best of him for a while as he builds his fitness but it's good to have him back.

Sunderland attack a corner.