Wise Men Say: Sunderland MUST start firing to be considered serious promotion contenders - starting against Ipswich Town
Sunderland need to start firing if they’re going to make a credible promotion push.
It is very early to judge the business that was made in the January window, whether or not we have a better squad than on New Year’s Day or if ‘sufficient funds’ were invested to give us the best possible chance of getting out of this godforsaken league at the second time of asking.
What we do know, is that in the last four league games, at least, we’re terribly reliant on two key players to show up and chip in with the goals.
Gooch and Maguire entered January in formidable form, the driving tool in Phil Parkinson’s tactics, the players who managed to get the crowd back onside and elevate Sunderland back into the play-off positions we were in when Jack Ross was disposed of.
Though, what is becoming increasingly clear is our plans starts and stop with the tempo that Maguire and Gooch have set, and no player coming on from the bench has been able to replicate that.
Sunderland need to start firing again if they’re to make an actual bid for promotion and go one better this time.
Will Grigg hasn’t played at all recently, and in the most recent games hasn’t even made the bench.
Phil Parkinson talked Grigg up while the window was open, so it’ll be interesting to see if that was for player promotion purposes or if we are able to reinvent the form that led to Sunderland signing the player after all.
Our chance creation has been much more effective in the new system implemented, and credit to the management staff for figuring a system that creates changes, but what we need now is to ensure we have a firing lead man who can make the contribution they are ultimately paid to do.
Charlie Wyke has struggled to find the net, and growing frustration from the stands regarding his overall contribution should be a concern.
Perhaps, Lafferty and Grigg will bring something different, but at the end of the day, goals are what Sunderland need.