'Baffling!': Sunderland fans question why this 'big game player' has been left out against Portsmouth

Lee Johnson has named his Sunderand side to face Portsmouth – and fans have been quick to react.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 6:55 pm

The Black Cats make just one change from the side that beat Rochdale as Josh Scowen replaces Oliver Younger - while on the bench he returns of Lynden Gooch and Tom Flanagan provide a boost.

And fans had plenty to say about the selection on social media – with the omission of Chris Maguire a big talking point...

@LukeHuggan said: “Straight into them no messing about”

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Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson has named his side to face Portsmouth

@Dan1879_SAFC added: “HAAWAAAAY! Big performance needed tonight. Could be a night that has a massive influence on the promotion spots!”

@joey_burton_ commented: “Games like this are screaming out for a Chris Maguire type character IMO. Baffling how he's not been included again, especially after his recent performances”

@CHorner_ posted: “Makes sense. Strong side. As long as McGeady and Jones are in the mood I'm confident we can win comfortably."

@Thesafcanalyst tweeted: “See Maguire starts over O’Brien for me, O’Brien is industrious and does “all the dirty work” however sometimes goes missing, which we cannot afford today, Maguire is a big game player that relishes games like this, not to mention his deliver from set pieces”

@DavidHindmarsh added: “I’m reasonably happy with this, just always confuses me why a player is fit for the bench but not to play. Flanagan should be starting and O’Nien should be right back and Power in midfield”

@jmzed_ said: “Think I’d have taken Maguire over O’Brien but prove me wrong. Come in the red and white wizards”

@lewis_h__ posted: “What does Maguire have to do to get in over O’Brien?”

@Philip_RJ89 tweeted: “Surely Maguire deserved to start ahead of O’Brien. This is the kind of scenario he thrives in. Big performances needed tonight, particularly from Sanderson & McGeady”

@joelewins commented: “Clearly doesn’t trust Maguire to start so we have to suffer O’Brien again...McFadzean will be targeted this evening as everyone knows how poor he is and it will be a stern test for this makeshift back 4 hopefully Wright Flanagan and Mcglaughlin fit next week”

Here’s how Sunderland will line-up: Burge; Power, Sanderson, O’Nien, McFadzean; Jones, Winchester, Scowen, McGeady; O’Brien, Wyke

And on the bench: Matthews, Flanagan, Diamond, Neil, Maguire, Gooch, Vokins

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