Sunderland benefiting from Alex Pritchard's surprise decision - Stephen Elliott

When Alex Pritchard signed for Sunderland last year a lot of people were probably a bit surprised that he had dropped down into the third tier.

He is a player who had proven his quality in both the Premier League and the Championship, so it must have been a big decision coming down a few levels to sign for Sunderland, even carrying the fact he had struggled with injury.

The fact that Sunderland are now plying their trade in the Championship and he was a big reason why this is the case, it has proven to be the correct call.

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Over the past few games he has shown that he is more than capable in this environment and would probably have a firm chance of getting into most Championship starting line-ups.

Sunderland beat Bristol City at the weekend. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images).

On Saturday, I think he was a big reason why Sunderland won the game.

When games are tight especially away from home you need players to show the courage to go and play and make things happen.

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In Bristol, he constantly worked hard to get on the ball and his delivery for Ross Stewart’s winner proved his worth.

If he can stay fit then Sunderland will always have a chance of creating something.

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The fact that we have not spoken much of how little of Patrick Roberts we have seen, speaks volumes of how well Pritchard has done so far as Roberts himself is somebody that is more than capable at this level.

Let’s hope both these two players have big seasons, because if they do Sunderland will be doing okay.