April 19, 2024

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray is coming under increasing pressure after his side’s 2-1 defeat at home to Huddersfield Town in midweek.

Sunderland remain in 11th place of the Championship table in what is only their second season back in the second tier.

But after their heroics last time round, expectations are high, and so far this season the Black Cats aren’t meeting those expectations.

Sunderland have lost their last two and have only won two of their last eight in the Championship, with Mowbray a man under-fire and apparently under pressure.

It was claimed earlier this week that Mowbray could soon be facing the axe if results don’t improve.

With his job on the line, here’s three selection decisions that Mowbray needs to consider ahead today’s crunch match vs strugglers Millwall…

Luke O’Nien and Jenson Seelt swap

Sunderland’s defence hasn’t covered itself in glory over the past couple of games.

Last time out, club captain and favourite Luke O’Nien came under scrutiny, whilst Jenson Seelt in the left-back berth also faced criticism.

But an easy-fix could be simply swapping the two around.

It remains to be seen why Niall Huggins was dropped to the bench vs Huddersfield as he’s been a key performer this season, and he could simply come back into the fold today.

But if he’s not fit to start, or starts on the bench for whatever reason, then O’Nien may be a better option at left-back than Seelt, and Seelt may be a better option in the middle than O’Nien.

Jobe Bellingham in need of a rest

Sunderland v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Jobe Bellingham signed in the summer and, on the whole, he’s proved to be a decent signing for the Black Cats.

But the 18-year-old looks tired. He’s started every single Championship fixture for Sunderland so far this season, also playing during the international breaks with England’s U19s, and it looks about time that he was given a rest.

His impact has been lessening over the past few weeks and Mowbray could get more out of that no.10 position if he rested Bellingham and gave the likes of Chris Rigg or Abdoullah Ba a run out; Bradley Dack hasn’t impressed much this season.

Patrick Roberts axed

Patrick Roberts is a well-liked name among the Sunderland faithful, and someone Mowbray has often spoken fondly of.

Right now though, he’s bang out of form; he was ineffective in the last outing vs Huddersfield Town and a change appears to be needed.

But who can come in on the right remains to be seen.

Ba could be a better option after he impressed in place of Roberts earlier in the campaign, or maybe even giving someone like Mason Burstow a go on the right, or the experienced Alex Pritchard.

Something has to change for Mowbray to ensure his immediate future at the club, with pressure mounting on the experienced boss.

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