Rowell Report: Alarm bells are starting to ring at Sunderland

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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WHEN Sunderland won the derby last month, like many fans, I thought there was no way Sunderland would be battling against the drop, and that we could even push for a mid-table position.

I’m still keeping my belief that we won’t go down, but after watching the defeat against Liverpool, we’re right there in the relegation dogfight, and if there’s many more performances like Saturday’s, we’ll sink even further than we are now.

I’m sure Gus Poyet couldn’t believe what he was seeing in the first 45 minutes, as Liverpool carved out chance after chance, and the only surprise was that we were still in the game and were only one down.

The second half was slightly better, even though we played most of it with 10 men, which doesn’t say much for Liam Bridcutt’s contribution, but apart from Adam Johnson hitting the bar, we never looked like getting on level terms.

Saturday’s performance was the sort that raises red flags to the coaching staff and supporters.

It wasn’t that we lost, it was more the manner of the defeat, and the lethargic performance that was so uninspiring.

Sunderland were shaky at the back and should have conceded more, slow and predictable in midfield, with endless short passes going sideways or back, and lacked a cutting edge up front, and for me, only Johnson looked up for it.

He was the only Sunderland player who tried to make something happen.

He worked hard, and it looked like only he had the energy and confidence to cause problems to the Liverpool defence, and he was desperately unlucky not to score.

The rest of the team looked as if they were seriously lacking in belief and confidence, as a good, but hardly vintage, Liverpool controlled the game.

Sunderland’s next home game in the Premier League is against Burnley, and the way things are going for Sunderland at the moment, by the time it comes around, it could have the tag of biggest game of the season.