Rowell Report: Time to act and not just speak

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
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THE AGONY goes on for Sunderland fans and it seems to get worse every week.

I said last week I’d take an ugly, scrappy 1-0 win over Norwich, given our recent run, and ugly and scrappy we got, but unfortunately no win.

Well, I say “unfortunately”, but actually that’s completely the wrong word to use because we got every break going.

Norwich did their best to help us – even playing an hour with 10 men and gifting us a penalty while the ref denied them a clear penalty when Danny Rose handled.

But still we couldn’t take advantage and the really scary part is that, unbelievably, the team which looked more likely to win in the second-half was Norwich.

They probably would have done too, if Grant Holt had a better first touch.

Now I’m not usually a stats man – I think often they can distort and confuse the issue.

But three points out of 21 is a statistic you can’t ignore.

Only the players can put this right.

Momentum is everything at this stage of the season and while teams around us are winning games and picking up points, we are dropping like a stone.

It doesn’t seem that long ago since we beat West Ham and had aspirations of a top 10 finish but our form has deserted us and the team’s confidence looks shot.

Had Norwich played the full game with 11 men, they would surely have won.

Ultimately, we gained a point and who knows how important that could be at the end of the season?

But it was a point we didn’t earn and didn’t deserve.

Changing a losing mentality is very difficult – I didn’t see much spirit or passion in Sunday’s performance.

But every player in the dressing room needs to stand up and be counted now. It comes down to taking personal responsibility – to actions, not just words.