We're working with a slightly patched up side at the moment, not that I feel particularly comfortable saying that considering we spent £18m or so in the summer. Most clubs would love to be "making do" having spent that!
With both left backs out we put right wing back Smith there last weekend and it wasn't good. Pairing him up with a left winger who hasn't featured in the first 11 for a year, it seriously wasn't good.
An odd starting lineup compounded by individual errors from the likes of Cook and O'Kane, and it amounted to a really disappointing performance.
With this game, plus struggling Stoke and old championship friends Watford coming up soon, I feel some pressure to add a few more points on the board. Do that, and we'll go into a harder run of fixtures in a stronger position, likely with some players back fit as well. Screw these games up, and we're left looking up at a tall mountain to climb.
So some decisions for Howe to make then. Start with Murray and Wilson? Persist with O'Kane? Distin to come in? And who the bloody hell starts at left back?
Sunderland seemed fairly credible in pushing Spurs all the way last weekend. They can't be as bad as everyone makes out?
We are improving but slowly. Borini and Toivenen have improved us going forward and we will hopefully cause Bournemouth a few problems. Our defence is a worry, target our full backs and sooner or later you will score. 2-2
Really don't fancy us to keep a clean sheet, but also know that Eddie won't accept us being as poor both with and without the ball as last week, I expect so.e sort of a reaction to what was our worst performance in years .
I'll optimistically go for 2-1, but a draw is pretty likely looking at both defences. We're going to need to adapt to our plethora of injuries and not allow it to become an excuse for lapse performances
Well that start was blistering, started the game at 100mph which we needed to do after last week, and an excellent turn and finish from Wilson that will be forgotten because of the frankly delicious goal from Ritchie.
Sunderland had a good spell second half, we were on the ropes for a short while, but that first clean sheet was much needed. Distin was a rock at the back, didn't put a foot wrong all game, and Marc Pugh and Daniels down our left jut ruined their fullbacks.
Still things to work on, but we have to be very happy with the reaction from last week, and a goal that will be shown around the world and live long in the memory at Dean Court
Strange game. We went for the kill from the off and Sunderland's defence couldn't cope. Smart finish from Wilson to keep his goal tally going. Obviously a superb bit of individual brilliance from Ritchie helped, he's has that coming after a quiet start.
However we never really looked eager to get that 3Rd goal comfort first half, we were content to sit deep suddenly and concede territory in an effort to counter attack. Can't help feeling that if we'd stayed on the front foot we'd have got that 3Rd, Sunderland were terrified of us at the back.
As it was Sunderland who finished the first half stronger with Defoe missing two gilt edged chances, including Boruc to the rescue with a one on one save. No way an 18 year old Defoe misses that back in League One!
Second half Sunderland came out with a flea in their ear and actually looked a decent side for periods. It was the first and only time they set the tempo and got the ball down. And we weren't all that comfortable with it, lacking a touch of composure to slow the game down, instead also trying to play at 100mph with no need to.
Sunderland ultimately weren't good enough to create huge amounts, although did have the ball in the net disallowed for offside.
As ever we lurked on the break, and Wilson as ever terrorised their defenders. A second booking later, which could have been a straight red in itself, and the game was killed. We also found time to hit the woodwork and force an excellent save from the otherwise very shaky and uncertain Sunderland keeper.
I'd say it's unlikely that we'll face a side so low on ideas organisation or confidence this season. You have to fear for them. What's happened to Borini? Looked knackered / rusty.
All credit the traveling fans who did their best. Their gallows humour was entertaining, and it must be a crazy journey when results are rough.