The morning after: Rejoice! Sunderland find a Championship side worse than themselves; doomed Hull


Huzzah! After months of searching, Sunderland finally found another Championship side worse than ourselves in yesterday's glorious 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light. Now we just need to find two more in order to stay up this season. 


Having slept on it, most Sunderland fans would begrudgingly admit Hull City are probably the worst team to have been to the Stadium of Light this season. But in our desperate state, we'll take that 1-0 win and three points. 

The bookies haven't quite caught up yet though, and the Tigers are still rated as 6th favourite to be relegated behind Barnsley, ourselves, Bolton, Birmingham and Burton - in that order. Perhaps applying the 'Sunderland test' to our relegation rivals gives a better clue as to who may yet go down this season. 

Having trounced Burton at their place and noting their current abject run, it would be reasonable to predict that the Brewers will be in League One next season. Nigel Clough's side haven't won in six and have conceded 12 goals in their last three games and are beginning to look dead already. 

Birmingham were pretty dire when they visited Wearside but the Blues had a smattering of decent players and  probably deserved their point. It's impossible to judge Bolton on their trip to the Stadium of Light having witnessed them in the flesh just the once - on that fateful night which ended with six goals and Simon Grayson getting the sack. Barnsley have beaten us twice and look like they have enough to stay up. 

But Hull look every bit a club with similar issues as those which have plagued ourselves this season, and who fixes them first may yet decide who suffers a double-drop. But on the basis of yesterday's showing, the signs look more positive for the Black Cats than the Tigers. 

Players subtly bottling challenges, mucking up opportunities in front of goal and experienced heads coming off worst against those with more heart - all charges repeatedly levelled at Sunderland as the season has gone from bad to bad. But they were features refreshingly absent from the home side yesterday whilst on display in abundance amongst the visitor's men. 

Still, Tigers boss Nigel Adkins greeted defeat by declaring Hull had had the better of the pre-match limbering up and hinted at a delusion which should alarm supporters on Humberside: 

    "The warm-up was good, mood in the dressing room was spot on and we go out there focused and for me we didn't get anywhere near in the duels you need to win and be competitive in a game of football.

Meanwhile, there remains a hardcore on Wearside who won't hear a bad word said about Sebastian Larsson. The ageing Swede has built a career on always appearing to look busy whilst pointing a lot. But if he summed up Sunderland's relegation squad last season, so too he seems to personify Hull's current crapness. 

Incapable of producing a performance above a 6/10, Larsson was outplayed in midfield by two kids who probably used to clean his boots in George Honeyman and Ethan Robson. Sunderland's youth system has been much maligned in recent years for failing to produce a steady stream of talent capable of playing in the first team but on yesterday's showing, the academy graduates may yet save the club from League One. 

Set against the 'Sunderland test', you'd put cash on Hull City going down and joining Burton in League One next season. We get to view second-bottom Birmingham again a week on Tuesday - and with a bit of luck and three points returning north, Brum will look every bit a club which will take the third relegation spot at the end of the campaign. 







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