Wise Men Say: Lack of quality in league still sees Sunderland in with a chance of survival

Another must-win game lies in store on Saturday? That's the view of many, although not for me.

Friday, 16th March 2018, 1:00 pm

I think Sunderland are already gone and we only have ourselves to blame.

Time after time, results at the bottom have gone our way and we have failed to take advantage.

Sunderland goalkeeper Jason Steele.

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There are only so many times we can “still be in with a chance” – we’re running out of games, and fast.

Last weekend at QPR being the prime example.

A game pretty much everyone knew we had to win, and we looked under little threat before Jason Steele got himself sent off and inevitably we ended up losing.

But again, aside from Hull pulling away, results were kind.

Sunderland goalkeeper Jason Steele.

Even Barnsley failed to win their game in hand against Norwich, a result which really would have hammered the very final nail into Sunderland’s coffin.

It reflects the quality, or lack of, in The Championship that Sunderland seem to lose every week, yet remain just a couple of wins from safety.

The issue is we just don’t look like getting a couple of wins. We don’t even look like getting a couple of points.

QPR and so many other teams, have been so poor, looked devoid of anything and yet were handed the three points.

Individual blunders have cost the club badly this season, from hilarious goalkeeping mistakes, to basic footballing errors.

There have been elements of bad luck of course, but you aren’t bottom of the table with nine games to go because of bad luck.

Sunderland have played 37 games this season and won five. Dress it up how you like, that is a disgrace.

There have been mistakes you wouldn’t see from Sunday League teams, a distinct lack of commitment from some quarters, some bizarre decisions; everything has come together, and now we are here, staring League One in the face.

The players we have needed to come up with the goods just haven’t done it often enough, Aidan McGeady has been too hit and miss, has been good as an impact player but we needed more.

Callum McManaman has been a major let down and only seemed interested in playing to wind Tony Pulis up, Marc Wilson has been awful and I could go on.

Preston will probably come to Sunderland expecting three points and you can’t really blame them.

They’re just outside of the play-offs and have had a very solid season.

Who plays this week? Will we use a fourth goalkeeper of the season? Will Ashley Fletcher continue up front? Will we go 2-0 down and then decide to start playing? Probably.

We at least have a chance to put some pressure on teams above us, at least make them need to start winning, rather than just sleepwalk to relegation than we are doing currently.

Personally, I’ve already stated, I think it is too late, but never have I ever wanted to be wrong so much.

Everyone deserves so much better, and I only hope this situation bottoms out soon and we can look forward rather than having to hope and pray things don’t get any worse.