Echo Jury: Gary Wilkinson reflects on a dreadful night in the Capital One Cup

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From start to finish, Sunderland were made to look like the lower league side. Middlesbrough’s 11 not only wanted the win more, but showed a hell of a lot more attacking quality.

Our season has started at snail’s pace, the side look void of any ideas and are missing what little spark we had when O’Neill took over.

For a combined total of £16million for Sessegnon and Johnson, one would expect a lot more. The pair look shocking at the moment. I can’t think of one chance they’ve created for weeks.

This didn’t change last night. Saha and Fletcher looked totally isolated, The pair relying on our long ball tactics for a sniff of the ball. As for McClean, last season he was attacking full-backs and putting balls in from the by-line. The lad must have taken a knock on the head in the summer because he seems to have forgotten how to do it.

Saturdays game against Aston Villa now becomes a must win. The murmurs of discontent have been bouncing about for a few weeks and anything other than three points on Saturday will only add fuel to the fire.

A change of mentality is need before Martin O’Neill feels the weight of expectation weighing even heavier on his shoulders.

To read the rest of the Echo Jury, please see tonight’s Sunderland Echo.