Gary Rowell column - Massive improvement needed if Poyet sticks with formation

Jack Rodwell is shown a red card during the game against Fulham. Picture by FRANK REID
Jack Rodwell is shown a red card during the game against Fulham. Picture by FRANK REID
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SATURDAY’S game against Fulham was the chance to see Gus Poyet’s new team formation with an exciting signing making his home debut.

What we got was as tedious, slow and uninspiring a game as you could get, and if Saturday’s team formation is the future, then massive improvement is needed.

Jack Rodwell just made a bad day worse with his needless second yellow card and he can have no complaints if Poyet fines him the maximum he can after badly letting down everyone.

Sunderland can have no excuses at all for their performance and it could have been worse as, like in the last round against Leeds, they got lucky when Fulham rattled the woodwork near the end.

There were positives to come from the day, not from the 90 minutes of football, but the sheer number of shock results which came in after the game that made our disappointing draw seem a bit better.

It makes you wonder if any of the top teams want to win the cup this year.

The last time Sunderland won the cup in 1973, they drew their fourth round tie at home before winning the replay, so maybe that’s a good omen for when they play at Craven Cottage next Tuesday.