This will be the second time in a week we will have to face Sunderland having drawn them in a home tie in the Pizza Cup on Tuesday.
The reverse of this fixture will stick in Dons fans minds as one of our best results this season, not only did we end a 20-game winless streak on the road, but we did it the hard way after going behind to a Max Power goal. The Dons pulled level a few minutes later when Jerome headed home a Gladwin cross, and then just two minutes into the second half Fraser was bundled over in the box and he picked himself up to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot.
As Sunderland continue to strive to get out of League 1 in a task apparently a lot harder than some people think, it’s not hard to find out what the problem has been, their home form, because if you have a quick glance at their away results below, they are unbeaten in 11 games, only conceded an amazing 4 goals and boast 8 clean sheets, that’s promotion or even title form, and if the can replicate that for the second half of the season, they must pose a real threat to those above them.
Before we kick on with the report, I just want to say how impressed I am with the Transfer Window business the club has done. Every single one of them brings something to the team, and whilst the signing of Will Grigg has been the main focus of fans, I think Zak Jules will prove to be the one that impresses fans the most.
The stats below do not include the fixtures from Tuesday evening.
THE SEASON SO FAR – SUNDERLAND – The Black Cats are currently sitting in6th place with a record of PLAYED 24, WON 10, DRAWN 10, LOST 4, GF 32 & GA 19 with 40 POINTS.
LEAGUE FORM AT A GLANCE – DDWLWWD
AWAY 2020/21 LEAGUE RECORD
Ipswich 0 Sunderland 1
AFCW 0 Sunderland 3
Northampton 0 Sunderland 0
Lincoln 0 Sunderland 4
Fleetwood 1 Sunderland 1
Doncaster 1 Sunderland 1
Gillingham 0 Sunderland 2
Rochdale 2 Sunderland 2
Swindon 0 Sunderland 2
Charlton 0 Sunderland 0
Oxford 0 Sunderland 2
An AWAY record of PLAYED 11, WON 6, DRAWN 5, LOST 0, GF 18 & GA 4.
STADIUM – The Stadium of Light (49,000)
YEAR FORMED – 1879
CLUB NICKNAME – The Black Cats
THE MANAGER – Phil Parkinson was the manager up until his departure at the end of November 2020 and in came Lee David Johnson aged 39 and born in Newmarket. Johnson is on a two-and-a-half-year deal, and if he gets to the end of that contract, I and possibly the football world will be amazed as in recent years the managerial role has been somewhat of a revolving door as the Black Cats continue to try and get back to their glory days.
As a midfield player he started on the youth books at both Arsenal and Watford before going on to a senior career at Brighton, Brentford, Yeovil Town, Hearts, Bristol City, Derby County, Chesterfield, and finally Kilmarnock.
He played 472 games in total scoring 35 goals, and he even had a runout on 5 occasions for an England C team in which he scored 1 goal.
This is Johnsons 4th managerial appointment having previously been at Oldham, Barnsley, and Bristol City.
His career stats as a manager stand at GAMES 383, WON 146, DRAWN 103, LOST 134 giving him a WIN RATIO slightly above average at 38%.
PLAYED FOR BOTH – Paul Butler, Tom Flanagan, remember him, he got some right slagging’s from the Cowshed, wouldn’t it be ironic if that came back to bite us on the bum…anyway moving on, Will Grigg, Tore Andre-Flo, Brendan Galloway, didn’t play for us but was a former Assistant Mick Harford, Alex Rae and probably a few more that I’ve missed, but that should be enough to get on with.
FORMER MANAGERS – Lee Johnson is the 46th Sunderland Manager, 12 of those coming in the last 5 years, and they include some right beauties in the shape of Phil Parkinson, Chris Coleman, Simon Grayson, David Moyes, Big Sam Allardyce, Dick Advocat, Gus Poyet, Paolo Di Canio, Martin O’Neil, Steve Bruce, Roy Keane, Niall Quinn, Mick McCarthy, Howard Wilkinson, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher, Lawrie McMenemy and of course Black Cat legend Bob Stokoe.
MATCHDAY MASCOTS – Samson and Delilah the Black Cats.
SHOOTERS BOOTS – So far, its Charlie Wyke with 12 goals.
FAMOUS FANS – Can’t be sure but I’m guessing on Steve Cram the former athlete and now BBC commentator, possibly music man Tim Rice and news correspondent Kate Adie, but I can’t say for certain as I got them off some SAFC Forum and there are more nutters on there than on Facebook Banter Pages.
BEST INTERNET ODDS – MK Dons 19/10 Draw 23/10 Sunderland 13/10
LAST TIME ROUND – Sat 14th November – Sunderland 1 MK Dons 2
TEAM – Fisher, O’Hora, Keogh, Lewington, Sorinola, Kasumu, Thompson (Sorenson), Fraser, Gladwin (Cargill), Walker (Morris), Jerome.
UNUSED SUBS – Nicholls, Davies, Freeman, Johnson.
GOALS – Power 12’, Jerome 16’, Fraser 47’
REFEREE – Steve Martin (2 Yellows)
ATTENDANCE – Behind Closed Doors.
HEAD 2 HEAD
2020/21 – Sunderland 1 MK Dons 2 – Jerome, Fraser.
2019/20 – MK Dons 0 Sunderland 1
2019/20 – Sunderland 2 MK Dons 1 – Bowery
2013/14 – Sunderland 4 MK Dons 2 – Bamford, McLeod (LG Cup)
2012/13 – MK Dons 0 Sunderland 2 – (LG Cup)