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Tuesday 13th November 2012 16:47

Wickham: Premier League class?

Wickham: Premier League class?

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FanZoner Chris Button says Sunderland's points tally must improve sooner rather than later!

No hiding from Sunderland's poor start

One win in eighteen games in the league, a depressing statistic for any team and unarguably relegation form. The profligacy in front of goal continues, and is starting to become worrying - just thirteen shots on target after ten games. However there were some positives to take from the Everton game. Adam Johnson got on the score sheet, meaning we now have a second player amongst our ranks who has scored for us this season!

It's only a small positive but hopefully this will be the start of goal contributions from all over the park. We arguably played some of our best football so far this season at Goodison Park, a tough place to go.

I fully expect Everton to challenge for the top four, and our players should take some encouragement from the fact we managed to take the lead and hold onto it for most of the game. A win against Fulham at Craven Cottage next weekend would be well received, as we will then go into two very winnable home games; against West Brom and QPR.

I think the key to turning our fortunes around is to gain a bit of momentum. We managed to get a win against Wigan but unfortunately couldn't build on that, the next game was against Man City at the Etihad, possibly the hardest place to go at the moment - a defeat there wasn't unexpected.

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Our next four games are a decent set of fixtures, and it is vital we pick up as many points as possible, as we will face Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City and Tottenham in December. We don't want to be in a relegation scrap come Christmas time.

On the whole I think Martin O'Neill is still doing a rebuilding job, and I doubt he is happy with his first team squad at the moment. He has made some decent additions in Fletcher and Johnson, but it is the squad depth which worries me, or more, the lack of quality throughout the squad. Without Fletcher we have only the 34 year-old Louis Saha, and the injury prone Fraizer Campbell as established strikers.

We also have youngsters Ji-Dong Won and Connor Wickham but I am sceptical as to whether they are ready for first team football in the Premier League. Similarly in defence, we only have seven first teamers, one of whom is on loan with us, and consequently we often see Craig Gardner deployed at right back.

That being said we have a decent defensive record but I just worry that a couple of injuries could see our squad threadbare and struggling. Reinforcements in January would be a welcome addition but that transfer window is well renowned for the difficulty of deals and the inflation of prices, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

However a positive run in the league would turn all this doom and gloom around and see us surge up the table. Hopefully we can get the ball rolling this coming Sunday with a victory against Fulham.

Tue - 23rd Sep 2014
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19:45 Sunderland v Stoke
Sat - 27th Sep 2014
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15:00 Sunderland v Swansea
Sat - 4th Oct 2014
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15:00 Sunderland v Stoke
Sat - 18th Oct 2014
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15:00 Southampton v Sunderland
Sat - 25th Oct 2014
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15:00 Sunderland v Arsenal
Sat - 20th Sep 2014
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15:00 Burnley 0 - 0 Sunderland
Sat - 13th Sep 2014
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15:00 Sunderland 2 - 2 Tottenham
Sat - 30th Aug 2014
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15:00 QPR 1 - 0 Sunderland
Wed - 27th Aug 2014
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19:45 Birmingham 0 - 3 Sunderland
Sun - 24th Aug 2014
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16:00 Sunderland 1 - 1 Man Utd