The latest edition of the Sunderland weekly round-up takes a look back at the latest news from the Stadium of Light. Saturday’s visit of Cambridge United saw the Black Cats dominant as they secured a vital three points. Plus, Alex Neil, who was only appointed Sunderland head coach in February, has been linked with the vacant manager’s job at Premier League side Burnley.
Alex Neil Linked With Burnley Job as Black Cats Dominant in League One Victory
Black Cats Dominant in Five Star Performance
Following the 0-0 draw at Plymouth Argyle on Easter Monday, Sunderland needed nothing less than three points when Cambridge United, conquerors of Newcastle United in the FA Cup this season, visited Wearside on Saturday. Three points were duly delivered to over 32,000 fans inside the Stadium of Light.
Alex Neil’s men were relentless as they attacked the United goal time after time. They got their first reward on 13 minutes when top scorer Ross Stewart was fouled in the box. United’s Lloyd Jones was dismissed and Stewart scored from the penalty spot. Midfielder Elliot Embleton doubled the lead with a free-kick but almost immediately, Cambridge pulled a goal back. However, it didn’t take long for Stewart to score again to restore their two-goal lead and take his tally to 24 league goals this season.
Sunderland continued to dominate in the second half, scoring another two goals. Nathan Broadhead headed in number four from close range before defender Danny Batth scored his first goal for the club.
Saturday’s game, unfortunately, saw Carl Winchester limp off injured early in the game with a suspected groin injury. The midfielder, who has played much of the season in defence is now a doubt for the crucial home game against Rotherham United on Tuesday. Defender Dennis Cirkin was injured prior to the Cambridge win and is now unlikely to feature in the last two league games of the season.
Defender Callum Doyle and midfielder Alex Pritchard are however both on their way back to full fitness. Both have been missing of late but both came on as substitutes at the weekend.
Managerless Burnley Linked With Alex Neil
Should the Clarets fail in their bid to stay in the Premier League, they could turn to Neil who has impressed since being appointed at Sunderland. The Black Cats’ head coach has also done well at Preston North End and Norwich City. With the Canaries, he achieved promotion to England’s top flight.
Lynden Gooch Answers Critics With Outstanding Performance
American Lynden Gooch produced arguably his best performance in a Sunderland shirt against Cambridge. The versatile midfielder had had his critics in recent seasons but has never given less than 100 per cent when he has played. On Saturday, the visitors had no answers to Gooch’s forward play and crossing. He finished the game with two assists but with better finishing, he could have ended up with at least two more.
Speaking after the game, head coach Alex Neil was full of praise for Gooch, he said: “I think that’s probably the best he’s played since I’ve been here. I thought the instruction for him was really clear – get on the outside and put good early deliveries in. But his quality today was top notch.
“I’m really pleased for him, and the one thing I will say about him is he works his socks off every single day. When you talk about people wearing their heart on their sleeve for this club, he’s right up there. I don’t think anybody internally would ever have any doubts about Goochy. He’s a warrior and he’s desperate to do well here.”
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