Sunderland fan blog: Lee Johnson needs to motivate SAFC squad quickly if they are to win promotion via play-offs
The Sky Bet League One play-offs look like Sunderland’s realistic destination once again, as a three-match winless run has altered their promotion course.
With only one point in their last 12 on offer, Lee Johnson needs to re-motivate his side, and quickly, if they want any chance of competing in the play-offs.
Hull and Peterborough are leading the way for automatic promotion – results consistently go their way and can find a way back into the match when behind.
That was shown on Saturday, when from one-goal down (and may have been two-down if it wasn’t for a controversial offside call), Hull were able to claim three points against Fleetwood Town at the KCOM Stadium.
It completely opposed Sunderland’s predicament on the seaside at Blackpool. There is no doubt that Blackpool will be in the play-off positions come May, and could potentially have a re-run of this clash in the four-team shootout.
If that does happen, Sunderland will hope that luck is on their side; for example Aiden McGeady’s shot that cannoned the post just before the Tangerines took the lead will hopefully result in a goal.
In truth, it’s these fine margins that have consequently resulted in Sunderland’s dip in form – chances fell to Charlie Wyke and Jordan Jones in matches against Charlton and Wigan but were denied by a combination of great goalkeeping and tight margins.
During the play-offs next month, Sunderland will be hopeful that these small things swat in their favour: otherwise it’s another season in League One.