Chris Smith: Sunderland were stoked in the Potteries

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Sunderland stoked the fires in an entertaining game in the Potteries.

After the Crystal Palace mauling two weeks ago the lads responded very well.

If you look at the last few minutes of that game and the first few minutes of this one you will see that we scored twice and hit the bar once in about 10 minutes of professional football!

It is a pity we cannot do it all the time, but the potential is there, and the effort is there, but the consistency is not.

Our inability to finish off teams has dragged us down to the nether regions of the league and the list of draws has not really helped our cause.

The bitter sweet truth is that we played better but dropped into the dreaded dead zone because Leicester are pulling a Sunderland out of thin air as we speak.

There was no Duncan Watmore on the field, but Dick Advocaat did put two other youngsters on the bench, although they did not get the call to play.

I do not know what more Watmore can do to break into the starting eleven, as he has done remarkably well this season!

I feel that the future of our club is with the youth, and the sooner we get them involved, the better.

Sebastian Coates and Seb Larsson were at opposite ends of the spectrum as the former got his commendable first start in ages while the latter finished off his two game ban and will be welcomed back as he has been sorely missed.

Let us all hope that after this stoked performance, the lads can continue with a renewed fire in their bellies!

* This article was sent into the Echo by a reader for our new Black Cats eight-page supplement, titled The Roar! - which will be in the paper every Wednesday.

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