Rowell Report: Phil of inspiration – but still no guarantee of safety

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THE most annoying thing about the weekend’s game was that it was a game where we couldn’t blame anyone but ourselves for the defeat – everything we could have asked for, went our way.

You want home advantage for a fixture like that and we had it, with more than 40,000 supporters roaring us on at the Stadium of Light.

Next you’d like a bit of luck and above all an early goal.

We got both, Asamoah Gyan’s 11th minute cross was deflected and Ahmed Elmohamady was beaten to it but Albion defender Nicky Shorey headed it home all the same.

What else might you want?

A bit of inspiration, something different to follow it up? Well we got that too when Phil Bardsley smashed that exceptional free-kick home just after the half-hour to send us into the break 2-1 up.

But even with that, we still somehow manage to throw it away.

What more can we ask for in a game? For the opposition to have two men sent off before the break?

We can’t keep throwing away gifts like this.

Even in the second-half, Simon Mignolet makes a world class save to keep it at 2-2 but do we go on to capitalise on it? Do we think as a group of players ‘wow, we got out of jail there, let’s make that count’?

No we do not.

And that’s what’s worrying me.

This is when you know you are a club in free-fall, because that’s what happens to clubs in free-fall – they keep on finding ways to lose games they shouldn’t.

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