Jordan Jones, Chris Maguire and Aiden McGeady: Our Sunderland writers have their say on Lee Johnson's big selection calls ahead of Swindon Town
After Saturday’s dramatic draw at Crewe Alexandra, there are no shortage of selection dilemmas ahead of the visit of Swindon Town on Tuesday evening.
The trip to Gresty Road was a classic example of a game where a number of players played themselves into contention, while others perhaps played themselves out of contention after a dire first half showing.
So with Johnson weighing-up changes across the board, what would our writers opt for?
Here’s the sides that Phil Smith and Mark Donnelly would name against the Robins:
Phil Smith’s selection
Burge; Gooch, McLaughlin, Sanderson, O'Nien, Vokins; Winchester, Power; Jones, McGeady, Wyke
This strikes me as a very difficult selection for Lee Johnson.
He must be tempted to revert to a 3-4-3, given that he seems to have a big problem at left-back where he just can't quite find a consistency of performance from a player.
Reinforcing the defence would help that, even if it again means putting Lynden Gooch in an unfamiliar position.
One of his key challenges is trying to get Aiden McGeady and Jordan Jones into the same side and the quality of Jones' performance on Saturday means he is surely a must pick here.
McGeady will need a brief rest somewhere along the way but only he and Johnson will know exactly when is the right time.
Mark Donnelly’s selection
Burge; Sanderson, O’Nien, McLaughlin; Gooch, Power, Winchester, Vokins; Maguire, Jones, Wyke
There were many concerning aspects of the first-half at Crewe, and while Sunderland’s defence were at times caught napping the side offered a limited attacking threat.
It was a game in which Sunderland only looked likely to score from a moment of magic or a mistake, and as it was two of the former provided enough to seal a point.
But Johnson will no doubt be aware that improvements in an attacking sense are needed.
Jones and Maguire have both impressed off the bench in recent weeks and their goals at Crewe were of the highest quality, so as the head coach looks to freshen things-up they will no doubt come into consideration.
It could be a fine opportunity to rest Aiden McGeady, while Jake Vokins deserves another chance – particularly given the struggles of Callum McFadzean at Gresty Road.