Opinion: Talking points from Ipswich away

Sunderland picked up one point this weekend from a tricky looking fixture away at fellow promotion favourites Ipswich Town.

Jack Ross’ team were poor in the first-half but bounced back in the second with an impressive showing and could have taken all three points on a different day.

Here are five things we learned from the game:

AWAY POINT

Ipswich away is arguably the toughest game Sunderland will play this season on the road as the relegated Championship side are most people’s pick for promotion.

While fans may have been disappointed to see the team draw for the second time in as many games, there were positives to take from holding a promotion candidate to a draw at their home ground.

GOOCH SCORES AGAIN

Last weekend, Lynden Gooch was the catalyst for Sunderland rescuing a point against Oxford United as he won and scored the equalising penalty.

Marc McNulty did the hard work on Saturday as he pressed Luke Chambers into losing the ball before feeding Gooch for an easy finish to tie the game at 1-1.

That was Gooch’s second of the season and if the American can keep up this early season form then he could easily top the six goals he scored last season.

HOSTILE ATMOSPHERE

Over 24,000 attended the game at Portman Road making it the biggest non-Sunderland crowd in League One since we entered the division last season. 

That was the club’s biggest attendance since playing Norwich City last season and the biggest non-Norwich attendance since Newcastle United visited back in 2017.

Sunderland played their part as a sell-out 1,800 were cheering the Lads on from the first whistle.

MCGEADY BACK IN THE XI

Every Sunderland fan feels that little bit more relaxed when they see Republic of Ireland international Aiden McGeady in the starting XI.

Last season, he was our star man as he netted important goals and provided the creative spark that we craved.

His injury towards the end of the campaign was detrimental to our promotion hopes, but his return to full fitness is a welcome boost to everybody associated with the club.

FORMATION SHIFT

Throughout pre-season the manager has played with a three at the back formation.

He continued to use that against Oxford last week and he started with it on Saturday against Ipswich.

But after a poor first half, the manager switched his team around to playing four at the back and it resulted in a much-improved performance.

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