Sunderland’s surge up the table has been thanks to their defensive improvement and an ability to maintain the current standard could determine whether the team gains promotion.
Of course, scoring goals and the impact of new signings will play a significant role, but there is little doubt that the Black Cats have improved dramatically because of the switch to 3-4-3. According to Transfermarkt, Phil Parkinson first utilised that style against Blackpool just before Christmas, and since then his side have lost once in 11 matches, conceding only six goals in that time.
While the Sunderland boss deserves praise, Jon McLaughlin has also played an important role in keeping several clean sheets. He has prevented the opposition scoring in five out of eight games in 2020, the most clean sheets of any goalkeeper in England’s top four divisions this year.
His experience and leadership has proved effective in organising the north-east outfit’s defence and will likely prove valuable from now until the end of the season in grinding out the results necessary to win promotion.
Here is how some supporters have been reacting to McLaughlin’s clean sheet record.
Great to see him back to his best, start of the campaign he looked shaky and then lost his place to Burge. However Parkinson deserves so much credit with this changing to the back 3 has worked a treat.
— Josh Bunting (@Buntingfootball) February 11, 2020
Surely this deserves a new contract 🤷🏻♂️
— Jamie Davison (@jamie_davison1) February 11, 2020
Need to start thinking about this though I think….. pic.twitter.com/PsR8CAw61q
— TWANGMACKEM8258™️ 🏴🇧🇦 (@twangmackem) February 11, 2020
Mad there was people wanting lee burge in goal instead of him like https://t.co/CwOaGqi8Hp
— Joe Brown (@JBrownie_99) February 11, 2020
Get his contract sorted out asap https://t.co/9OlchtEfa7
— Ross Elliott (@rosstitute73) February 11, 2020
Allison who? https://t.co/o86VUgdf0K
— Kenzie Wooton (@WootonKenzie) February 11, 2020
Needs a new contract! https://t.co/pDAPebG3Ro
— K.G (@_Kieron_Gibson_) February 11, 2020
Sunderland fans, does McLaughlin’s form mean he deserves a new contract? Or is the club best suited to waiting until the end of the season? Share your thoughts below…
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