Rowell Report: Terrible start again, but Sunderland finally got going

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
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WE came away from the Reebok with a replay – but the performance was far from impressive.

I thought the first 45 minutes was the worst we’ve played this season. All areas of the team were below par and mistakes galore littered the first half.

It was no surprise when a defensive mistake cost us the first goal.

When Bolton scored the second early in the second half I really feared the worst but the introduction of Connor Wickham changed the game and we suddenly found some form and momentum to cause Bolton problems.

Now, supersub is a tag no player wants.

But Connor Wickham certainly was that for us at the weekend as he dragged us back into the game and when Craig Gardner smashed in a beauty there was only going to be one winner from then on in.

Sadly, Sunderland ran out of time and we just couldn’t force the winning goal which was a pity because I’m sure our amazing fans would have taken the roof off the Reebok, such was the noise coming from them as Sunderland staged their comeback.

Yet again this season Sunderland played in only part of the game – in truth, probably only in the last 30 minutes, but at least they did show character and desire to get back into the game and bring Bolton back to Wearside.

Sometimes when a team is not playing well you just have to dig deep and grind something out and I suppose if you are going to draw a game, coming back from a two-goal deficit is the way to do it.