Sunderland are in brilliant form and kept the pressure on other League One promotion contenders with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Rochdale on Tuesday.
Another three points lifts them up to fifth place and, after seven wins in 10 games, it seems that there is little to stop them, with a run of games against Oxford, Bristol Rovers and Fleetwood also providing a good opportunity for more points, as each of those sides are below Sunderland in the league.
Phil Parkinson has produced this recent success by first making his side difficult to beat, with six goals conceded in 12 games, but he also has individual brilliance from the likes of Chris Maguire and Lynden Gooch to call upon. That pair both produced in the final third to blow Rochdale away early on and former Sunderland player Stephen Elliott believes the team’s strategy was vital on Tuesday.
“Starting well is so important in this ground!! Teams don’t know what to do!”, said Elliott on Twitter.
The former striker is correct in his assessment as Rochdale had no answer to the Black Cats for the rest of the match – indeed, the home side could have added more, with Luke O’Nien twice coming close either side of half-time.
The north-east outfit getting off to a fast start is easier said than done, but if they can get Maguire and Gooch on the ball early on, then they have the ability to unsettle defences, with the former repeatedly producing quality crosses against Rochdale, as the three goals evidenced.
If they manage that in the games they play from now until the end of the season, they should continue to score goals. Given how tight they are defensively, they do not need to worry about holding onto leads. As a result, they have a proven system in place to win matches, and now they just need to maintain their current consistency in order to secure promotion.
Do you agree with Elliott’s perspective and do you think Sunderland are capable of blowing away teams early on? Share your view below…
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience