Club legend has this strong advice for those Sunderland players struggling with the pressure
Was last Tuesday’s defeat at Scunthorpe in the EFL Trophy the lowest point of the season as many fans are saying?
I think yes and there is a case to be made it is the lowest point in the club’s history.
The EFL Trophy might be right down the list of Sunderland’s priorities this season but there is something horribly symbolic about losing by three goals to a team from the lowest tier, especially after a campaign were there have been many low points.
The fans that travelled to Scunthorpe last week let the players know in no uncertain terms their anger after the game and these people are the most loyal of the loyal, they back Sunderland all over the country and only want to support a Sunderland team they can be proud of, so if they were so enraged I go with their judgement.
It is times like these I recall Bob Stokoe and the coaches telling us youngsters at Roker Park when we were just starting out not to bother trying to make a living in football if you have a thin skin.
What they meant was you would face criticism - everybody does - so be ready for it and if you can’t deal with it then you have no chance.
So Sunderland’s players must prove to themselves and the fans that they can deal with the frustration and anger that is all around Wearside at present - the pressure is on and we will learn a lot about these players over the next few games.
Those who have the character and courage to play for a big club and those that don’t can be shown the door in January.
Losing to Scunthorpe would have hurt the Sunderland players, I hope it hurt them, I don’t believe for a minute that they don’t care or are not trying but they are massively underperforming and this season is simply far too important for the players to let that continue.