Why can't Sunderland kill off games?
We don't lose, which is great. Only Liverpool have lost fewer league games this season in the top four leagues of English football. However, 12 excruciating draws have gifted Luton the upper hand in League One, whilst slowly dragging us away from automatic promotion altogether. Few second goals and fewer clean sheets are both massive contributors, here's what our panel had to say;
Key things to remember... We aren't losing! For a club that has had nearly a decade of losing far more games than not, we are in a much better place. Also, we are a league 1 team: we have no right to beat anyone in this league.
As the "big" club of the league, teams want to do well against us - like we used to like playing well against Manchester City. This makes games difficult to kill off. I don't think there is a fundamental problem with how we play: but I worry that the "habit" of conceding is getting as engrained as the habit of scoring every game. - Ben
We can't kill games off because we can't get a second goal. For me this is because we have 2 holding defensive midfielders in front of a back four. How about a more attacking line up? - Tom
Do you think Jack Ross is still the man to lead our revival?
Thankfully, WAWFP were unanimous in support of Ross despite our mini-stumbles. It's absolutely time we gave the manager our backing for a period of time, it feels like he leads our club in the right way and there is plenty to admire about how promotion attempts so far, even if it's been incredibly frustrating at the same time.
Consistently getting rid of managers is a policy which has hardly proved successful for us over recent times, and on that basis, I think we need to stick with him, and get behind him and the team. I think he makes better use of sub's than many of our managers over my time following the team. - Paul
If we get promoted or not will not be down to the manager, if we don’t get promoted it’s because we were not good enough! Having the biggest stadium, budget and best facilities doesn't mean a thing if the players aren't good enough. I honestly think that we shall be content with fourth position, probably end up in the play-offs and then anything can happen!
I think it's about time that we have a reality-check, are we really the best team in League One? Look at Barnsley; they kept almost their entire squad from last year. They were ahead of us then and they still are - when we sold Josh Maja they held on to Kieffer Moore - why should we think that we are a better than them?
We are not ready yet, missing out on promotion this year wouldn´t be a fiasco in my book, getting promoted and immediately relegated back to League One because we weren't ready would! - Staffan
What is your best 11 to take on Blackpool on Tuesday night?
It seems like our panel is almost united that one player needs to be dropped from the starting eleven to give us a bit more in the middle of the park. All but one of WAWFP contributors agreed that Max Power should be dropped...which I couldn't agree more with. We have such a big squad, Ross has many options, let's start using them and figuring out what is our best 11.
I would start with Dunne and Flannagan with Oviedo and Matthews, Leadbitter, O’Nien, Honeyman, McGeady and Watmore with Grigg upfront. - Howard
I think Ross needs to let go of some of his favourites - most notably Max Power who has been ineffectively this year. Switching him for Luke O'Nien would inject our midfield with more energy, ingenuity and ability - which is what it lacks.
Bryan Oviedo should also come back in. I'd play McLaughlin, Matthews, Baldwin, Dunne, Oviedo, Leadbitter, O'Nien, Honeyman, Morgan, McGeady and Grigg. - Ian