Stephen Elliott: Why Max Power deserves a new deal as Sunderland battle for league and cup double

The last couple of months have certainly been eventful.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 5:00 pm

There’s been the small matter of a takeover, a 48-year hoodoo-ending win at Wembley and an unbeaten run that has everybody excited to watch Sunderland again.

It’s probably the best period in our most recent history in terms of results and feel-good factor.

As good as it has been for all concerned, once you add all this to the relentless two-game-a-week schedule, it’s fair to say the players are being asked to do a lot.

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Sunderland drew with Lincoln City at the weekend.

Especially as there are still players out injured and people are getting moved around the pitch.

With the welcome break of no game midweek, it gives everybody at the club a chance to sit back and take stock of where they are going into the Easter period.

The game itself on Saturday, albeit not a dreadful performance, was one that you sensed the team were both mentally and physically tired.

While we saw a return to the old 1-1 result, synonymous with Sunderland in this division, it didn’t feel like two points dropped on this occasion.

Lincoln were more than good value for their draw and probably looked the more likely to win the game in the end. With that in mind, and with a glass half full view on life, it was a point gained for me.

Big credit must go to Max Power and Callum McFadzean for providing the one bit of real quality for the goal.

McFadzean did a great Charlie Wyke impersonation with the way he attacked Power’s cross to send it nestling into the corner of the net.

On Power himself, I have to say he has shown some real class these past few weeks. He seems to have been given a real lift and a new lease of life since the arrival of Lee Johnson.

He is another who is out of contract at the end of the season and will be wondering where his future lies.

If you asked me three months ago if he should be kept at the club beyond June, I’d probably have leaned towards saying “thanks for your efforts Max, but maybe it’s best for both parties if you find a new challenge.”

However, now we have this scenario of him potentially leading the club to a promotion and cup double as captain. That would be tremendous, and you would have to say there is a strong possibility of that feat being achieved.

If promotion is accomplished, and with him being one of the driving forces behind it, it would be hard to argue against a renewal of his contract come the end of the season.

He has embraced the Lee Johnson style and has shown huge leadership skills on the pitch during Johnson’s reign.

He seems to be a really popular figure, both amongst the staff and players, and if he does stay at the club it will be more than deserved.

For now, Max and the rest of the lads will take a much-needed rest this week and recharge the batteries.

With Bristol Rovers and old foe Joey Barton up next, it will be another chance to get closer to those top two positions. That, remember, is ultimately the only goal Sunderland should have in this division.

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