Sunderland have to ensure mini-slump doesn't develop into crisis by getting win soon

For the third game in succession, Sunderland let down their fans when they lost at Burton Albion and with it went the unbeaten start to the new campaign.

Monday, 17th September 2018, 7:00 pm
Sunderland concede their second goal at Burton Albion.

The early season optimism, brought on by a new regime, and four wins and a draw from the first five games hasn’t faded completely but there are definitely questions to be asked after three games without a win and Sunderland didn’t deserve to win any of them.

Two points from the last nine is nowhere near good enough and the only good news I could find on Saturday was that somehow we are still hanging on to fourth spot - just four points off an automatic promotion place.

Burton were the better side on Saturday, there can be no hard luck stories as Sunderland laboured, totally unable to come to terms with the new system Jack Ross implemented.

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It was a brave team selection, though ultimately unsuccessful, with plenty of attacking players but the balance and shape wasn’t right as Sunderland got overrun in midfield.

Going into an away game, you need to dig in and lay foundations.

Not every club are as generous as Sunderland, who like nothing more than giving visitors a goal start at the Stadium of Light.

In most away games it is a battle of attrition, you need to engage in it or get swept aside.

That looked like what happened on Saturday, Sunderland were out-muscled too easily and it doesn’t matter how talented your players are, if you don’t compete physically or mentally, you will be found out.

The last thing I want is to sound the alarm bells, or say it is all doom and gloom. That is certainly not the case.

But the last three games, whichever way you look at it, have been a let down and no one will know that more than Jack Ross and the players.

For the first time this season, Sunderland are in a mini-slump. It is not a crisis, but if a win doesn’t come soon, it can quickly turn into one.

In the early games of the season, I think we were all loving the feeling of winning games consistently again after years of just the opposite, watching joyless, depressing defeats and I am sure the players were feeling the same as there is nothing like that feeling in the dressing room after a game of giving everything and savouring victory and we all need that feeling back again.