Gary Rowell: Nobody could have taken another Sunderland defeat but Blackpool point was no cause for celebration

Sunderland’s 1-1 draw against Blackpool is hardly a case for celebration but the general opinion seems to be it was an improvement on what they have served up recently and I don’t think anybody could have taken yet another defeat.

However, being a bit better is hardly a ringing endorsement, the performance was still a long way off what is needed if this season is to be turned around.

After weeks of bad news coming from bad results on the pitch Sunderland went into the Blackpool game with bad news off the pitch making the headlines - as if we needed it - talk of dressing room disharmony, McGeady being banished and even their professionalism regarding eating habits being discussed in the media.

Every player knows when things are not going well to get your head down, keep a low profile and just start winning - do that and you can eat what you like, the fans won’t care.

Sunderland battled for a point against Blackpool.

Talking of the fans, I reckon the players owe them one after predictably giving Blackpool the lead after just four minutes, the crowd didn’t turn when it would have been easy to do so, they stuck with the team and thankfully Charlie Wyke paid them a little bit back with his equaliser.

It was good to see Wyke back starting, at least his height and physicality gives Sunderland a focal point now and he was unlucky in the second half when his header crashed against the bar.

For the second Saturday running the referee made a huge call that unsurprisingly went against Sunderland with George Dobson’s dismissal for a second yellow card.

Steve Parkin said it was harsh and I think that is an understatement, maybe I am being biased but I felt he won the ball, it didn’t look like a foul to me and I have watched it back many times.

So, another disappointing Saturday afternoon for Sunderland fans but not quite as bad as recent games, that is not saying much but it is about as good as it gets right now.