Rowell Report: Slow burners!

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
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AT 3.35pm on Saturday I really feared the worst when we unbelievably conceded a goal from our own corner kick to go 2-0 down against Fulham.

So I suppose I should give credit for a spirited fight-back and the scoring of two goals that got us a point.

This was not a good result for Sunderland though, nor was it a good performance.

We were never convincing, never fluent and our current form is becoming a worry.

Two points out of our last 15 tells its own story and yes, there is a significant gap between ourselves and the bottom three.

But our current direction is a downward one and needs to be reversed unless we are not to find ourselves in trouble.

Yet again on Saturday, as has happened so often this season, we only really get going after going two goals down.

And I cannot quite work out why we are starting games so slowly, especially at home where I expect Sunderland to come out all guns blazing and taking the game to the opposition.

On Saturday we got under-way looking nervy and edgy. We never took control.

The last time we took the lead in a game was eight games ago, in the victory over West Ham and on that occasion we were pretty comfortable winners.

So we are giving ourselves far too much to do and subsequently are consistently having to play catch up.

As it was, we could still have won the game.

And having pulled the game back to 2-2 with 20 minutes left, we had the time to do so.

But we didn’t really get one big chance in that time and had to settle for a draw which, over 90 minutes, was probably right.

It didn’t make people much happier though and I can understand why, because this season is becoming so frustrating with the same problems almost every week: we can play well in spells but we rarely put it together over a full 90 minutes.

And that lack of consistency cost us dearly again at the weekend.

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