Echo Jury: Michael Tuckwell reflects on Saturday’s close-run thing against Chelsea

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A TIGHT game and it came down to the fact Lampard was lucky enough to be in the right place.

I wouldn’t call that the comprehensive defeat that most mainstream pundits were predicting.

Yet again, our squad had a steely determination and, in all honesty, we edged Chelsea in terms of performance and chances.

There is a distinctive will behind the new Sunderland. Even away from home against the big boys, we outshine their big names and superstar squads with an organisation and flair that reminds me of Peter Reid’s reign.

McClean seems to get better and better with every game and it was refreshing to see Wickham back, along with Sessegnon’s creativity. The future still looks bright for this young squad.

The only quibble I would have is the lack of a killer touch. Bendtner has no confidence at all, another example being his 90th-minute chance to earn a point – he fluffed it again.

I’m hoping O’Neill sends him back to Arsenal. I’d like to see Ji or Wickham given a chance – Wickham has strength and Ji energy, two things Bendtner seems to be missing.

But we must trust in the manager I hope he gets the lad scoring, but it will be a lot of hard work. Not to worry, some easy games on the horizon and this is where we need to start the ascent back to the top 10.

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