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Stephen Elliott: This is why Everton loanee Nathan Broadhead can thrive at Sunderland under Lee Johnson

After swatting aside Morecambe in midweek with a five-star performance, Sunderland had a much tougher task in front of them on Saturday.

By Stephen Elliott
Monday, 13th December 2021, 5:00 pm

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Plymouth, a team who have been in and around the play-off mix all season, could have been potentially a tough nut to crack.

However, I still believed it was a must-win for the lads.

We saw with Charlton a few weeks back how it can be a dangerous time to come up against a team that has just parted ways with their manager.

Sunderland beat Plymouth Argyle at the weekend. Picture by Martin Swinney.

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I was fairly confident going into the game on Saturday but because of what happened in that Charlton game, there was still a slight worry in the back of my mind.

Plymouth came to the Stadium of Light after a bit of a hectic time of their own in the wake of losing their own manager Ryan Lowe, who had parted ways to Preston North End.

You never know how a team will react to losing their gaffer but on Saturday all of my concerns going into this game were lifted after about 12 minutes.

Sunderland, came out of the traps like a whirlwind and Plymouth quite frankly were not able to cope with the intensity and quality that was on display from the home team.

As we are all aware there are a few injuries among the squad but I feel that this has been used as a positive by Lee Johnson.

He has used the same starting XI in the three games in the past week and for that reason I feel the team and the staff should be admired for keeping the fitness and standards of the team at a top level.

You could have forgiven a few of the players if they looked a bit jaded on Saturday but to be fair every player was bang at it.

I’m hoping with the familiarity of playing with the same players that a togetherness and closeness can be built and another long winning run will be achieved.

I thought Saturday’s performance was outstanding and both goals were fantastic team goals and the type of goals that pleases managers and coaching staff.

There is nothing better than when a set piece that has been worked on in the training ground comes to fruition and Dan Neil’s goal was exactly that. It was a good clean hit too from Neil and hopefully he can continue to chip in from now on in.

Nathan Broadhead’s finish, in particular, was exquisite and the fact he was willing to even try it tells you exactly where his confident levels are. The move before the goal was an example of what this team can be capable of.

I’ve been really impressed with Broadhead over the past few weeks.

He has a good understanding of the game and drifts into some great positions on the pitch that opponents struggle to cope with. It seems like he is really enjoying his time at the club. He has undoubted potential and that is why Everton invested in him.

Perhaps Sunderland is the club for him where he can thrive and create a name for himself before he goes back to Merseyside.

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