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Stephen Elliott: Unorganised and disjointed Sunderland need a manager NOW and ex-Celtic man needs more gametime

With all the off the pitch activity that had gone on in the past week, you could be forgiven for forgetting there was a game to be played on Saturday.

By Stephen Elliott
Monday, 7th February 2022, 6:00 pm

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With the rumours of some big name appointments and the return of Jermain Defoe the club received a few more national headlines than what is usually given to third tier teams.

Like you I’m curious to see who ends up in the Stadium of Light hot seat and looking at the Doncaster game on Saturday that appointment has to be sorted as soon as possible.

The team looked so unorganised and disjointed in the first half.

Sunderland were beaten at the weekend by Doncaster Rovers.

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I know there was no actual manager in place but that is no excuse for what we saw.

It looked like a group of strangers had been put on the pitch to play a game.

I was really disappointed we didn’t get to see Patrick Roberts at any stage as I thought last week during the defeat to Bolton he was the only bright spark, with his decent little cameo.

I don’t think Sunderland are good enough to have a player like him just sitting and watching games. He needs to be on the pitch affecting them.

Any potential Sunderland managers looking on will be very worried about coming in seeing what was on show on Saturday.

Again there was no real hunger in the performance and Doncaster could not believe their luck.

We are talking about a Doncaster team, who themselves, were coming off the back of a hammering midweek and currently propping up the league table at the foot of the table.

The Sunderland squad looks a bit threadbare defensively also.

I don’t understand why Tom Flanagan was allowed to leave the club without a replacement being brought in. I’m not saying Flanagan is a world beater but at least he was a defender who had played a lot of games this season.

Carl Winchester started in a back three and it showed he had never played there.

The defence looked all at sea and I would be surprised looking at the way the team played if any shape work was done in preparation for the game. In a way I felt it was even worse than last week.

I was actually baffled that more or less the same team who started against Bolton bar one was given the chance to perform again.

I know the lads who looked after the team on Saturday are only there on an interim basis but surely there had to be a few more changes.

What should have been a day of celebration for the near 40,000 who rocked up to watch the return of Defoe turned out to be another sorry and miserable afternoon.

I think the top two may be too much of an ask now as the gap to both Rotherham and Wigan looks irretrievable.

If the club doesn’t appoint someone quickly, then the grip on top six may even fall away.

There is no time for this squad of players to feel sorry for themselves though and if there isn’t a victory on Tuesday night at Cheltenham I genuinely do worry for the rest of the campaign.

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