Gary Rowell column - Sunderland testing patience with run of draws

Jack Rodwell
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SUNDERLAND’S draw against Swansea was another where they only had themselves to blame for not winning.

They had the chances, but squandered them and when that happens, it’s bad finishing, not bad luck.

That may sound harsh, but the manager and the players were saying last week how they needed to be more clinical and ruthless, and the Swansea game was a perfect example of Sunderland lacking that killer instinct.

The manager’s press conference after the game told its own story, with Garry Monk being more than happy to leave the Stadium of Light with a point and Gus Poyet ruing what might have been.

It’s frustrating watching Sunderland at the moment - when is it any different - but this season with a string of draws so far is testing the patience of everyone.

It’s not that Sunderland played badly, they didn’t, at times they played good football and there were positives to come from the 90 minutes.

I thought Will Buckley and Billy Jones, on his Premier League debut, had good games, Ricky Alvarez was eye-catching in a 25-minute cameo and for the second game running, Sunderland kept a clean sheet.

The negatives were that another two points slip away from Sunderland and I’d also like to see more from Connor Wickham and Jack Rodwell.

Wickham was a revelation at the end of last season, but hasn’t taken that goal-scoring form into this one, while Rodwell isn’t dominating games the way I thought he would.

Sunderland’s summer signing has got to find a way of getting on the ball more, as too often the game is passing him by. After a couple of seasons with very little football, his fitness was always going to be a problem, but Jack needs to get up to speed now to show his undoubted quality and potential.