Sunderland Need Supporters For Another Great Escape


Sunderland are once again embroiled in a relegation battle at the bottom of the Premier League.

The Black Cats have managed to beat the drop to the Championship by pulling off miraculous escapes for the past four campaigns on the spin, but will need to pull off the feat yet again to avoid plummeting into the second tier of English football for the first time since 2007.

David Moyes’ men failed to win a top-flight contest until their eleventh match of the season when they defeated Bournemouth at Dean Court. They’ve since reeled off victories over Hull City and Leicester City at the Stadium of Light to give them hope of another revival – although their defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Swansea City showed the task at hand for the club to beat the odds again this term.

The Black Cats have one of the strongest fanbases in the Premier League and are usually supported by sell-out crowds both home and away. A study from Voucherbox found that Sunderland have the fifth cheapest season tickets in the division, which is probably one of the reasons for their strong backing. Moyes’ men will need all the support they can get at the Stadium of Light to propel themselves out of the bottom three in the coming months.


One of the North East outfit’s major issues in their over-reliance on Jermain Defoe for goals. The 34-year-old has notched eight strikes this term, which is over half the goals the club have scored, with only Victor Anichebe and Patrick van Aanholt getting on the scoresheet from the rest of the Sunderland squad in the top flight.

Defoe has been outstanding for the Black Cats, but problems emerged when he missed chances in their defeat to Swansea which could have turned the game in their favour, while no other player was able to provide a meaningful threat. That has been a common theme throughout the season and Moyes will have to address this need in January for his team to survive.

At the other end of the pitch, Moyes has bigger concerns despite the impressive performances of keeper Jordan Pickford. The 21-year-old was thrust into the starter’s role between the sticks due to an injury to Vito Mannone. He has thrived in there, making a number of outstanding saves to earn his side vital points in their relegation battle.

The England man’s displays have been made even more remarkable considering the troubles in front of him, with £8m-signing Papy Djilobodji struggling to adapt to the Premier League, while Lamine Kone has failed to find the form of last season.

The Black Cats have kept just one clean sheet in the campaign which occurred in their 3-0 win over Hull City, and even that required a few fine stops from Pickford in-between the sticks to acquire.

Kone was the subject of transfer speculation over the summer, and although he only signed a new contract in September, Moyes could sell the Ivorian to bolster his defence and attempt to build a stouter unit. The Scot will have to work quickly – otherwise it might be too late to pull off another great escape at the Stadium of Light.

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