June 25, 2024

The Black Cats are one of the clubs vying for a play-off position this season.

Former Sunderland left-back Wayne Bridge believes the Black Cats must improve if they are to maintain their Championship play-off chances, but he has yet to see any indication of this under Michael Beale.

Sunderland made the audacious decision to cut ways with Tony Mowbray in December, with ex-Rangers manager Beale assuming command of the club’s promotion push. However, in his first six games in charge, the Black Cats have only won twice, with Saturday’s 2-1 setback at Ipswich leaving them outside the play-off places, trailing Coventry City on goal difference.

Former Chelsea full-back Bridge, who spent eight games on loan at Sunderland in 2012, believes they risk missing out until they produce consistent form under their new management.


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“I wouldn’t say that Michael Beale has actually changed too much at Sunderland since he took over, they haven’t kicked on or anything like that,” Bridge was quoted as saying by BetVictor. “The Championship is such a difficult league, and teams will be in and out of those promotion and play-off spots all season.”

“Sunderland really need to get going because it’s such a tough league and you can find yourself floating in and out of the play-offs – you don’t want to be outside them at the end of the season.” They have a good chance of making it, but it’s a tough one to call.

“Anyone can beat anyone in the Championship and Sunderland haven’t really found that momentum yet under Beale, but they definitely have a chance.”

Sunderland’s credentials will be put to the test again on Friday night when they welcome Hull City at the Stadium of Light. Liam Rosenior’s Tigers trail the Black Cats by one point, despite Sunderland’s 1-0 victory in the reverse encounter on Boxing Day, Beale’s first win as manager.

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