Sunderland’s last three games have all ended in draws and it is arguable they could have won them all but that definitely should have happened against Brentford on Saturday.
When going in at the interval with a two goal cushion, everything is in your favour so you have to see the game out but Sunderland found a way to let another win slip away and made a hard earned away point feel like a defeat.
Simon Grayson would have sent his team out for the second half with instructions not to concede in the first ten to 15 minutes as his team didn’t have to chase the game, just be defensively sound and weather the early Brentford pressure.
If Sunderland had done that, they would have coasted to victory and probably picked Brentford off with another goal or two but by conceding just minutes after coming back out, it gave the home side the momentum to stage a comeback.
It is not often teams don’t win when they take a two-goal lead but this Sunderland team always shoot themselves in the foot and the players will know better than anybody they only have themselves to blame for not coming home with the three points.
Once again Sunderland failed to keep a clean sheet, they haven’t all season yet Saturday’s back four of Billy Jones, Lamine Kone, John O’Shea and Bryan Oviedo shielded by Lee Cattermole and Didier Ndong in front are all players who have played virtually their entire careers at the highest level so it is hard to understand why we are so vulnerable defensively.
Sunderland have conceded 25 goals so far this season.
No club has let in more, so Sunderland must find a system that suits the players because especially in defence any team needs stability and organisation.
Everybody knows about Sunderland’s problems at home where we can’t even take the lead but it is the opposite away where we can’t hang on to a lead as points have been dropped from winning positions not just on Saturday against Brentford but also against Preston North End, Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday.
On the plus side, it is now three games undefeated.
Yes, I know I am clutching at straws but at least it is something to build on, especially if we can capitalise on the two home games that follow.
Saturday’s game was one that could have been memorable because good things did happen, Lewis Grabban returned to the starting XI and scored twice, Duncan Watmore got another game, looking lively and winning a spot kick and the team did find the net three times in an away game.
But all that is forgotten when you waste that hard work and two points by blowing a two goal lead.