April 23, 2024

Sunderland may break an unfavorable 18-year record against Southampton in the Championship this week.

Sunderland are currently in poor form.

The Black Cats have lost their previous five Championship games, including their first three under Mike Dodds, after Sunderland fired Michael Beale last month.

Performances haven’t been completely dismal; in recent games against Norwich City and Leicester City, Dodds’ side appeared dangerous.

However, without Jack Clarke, the Black Cats pose little genuine threat, having scored only once in his absence.

Mike Dodds could break unwanted Sunderland record

Sunderland head coach Mike Dodds on Bristol City and Dan Ballard. - BBC  Sport

 

Sunderland will make the long journey to Southampton this weekend.

It’s another challenging encounter against top-six opposition, and the Saints will undoubtedly be hungry to capitalise on a struggling Sunderland side while also suffering a minor dip in form themselves.

The Saints went 22 games unbeaten in the Championship before losing to Bristol City in February; since then, Russell Martin’s team has won two and lost two in the league.

However, if Southampton wins this weekend and the Black Cats suffer their sixth straight league defeat, it will be the first time in 18 years that they have lost six consecutive league games.

That feat was last accomplished in the 2005/06 Premier League season, when Sunderland finished at the bottom of the table after losing five, nine, and six consecutive games.

A sign of tough times, but club still on the up

Under Tony Mowbray, the Black Cats were play-off contenders, but they are currently closer to the relegation zone than the play-offs.

Sunderland has suffered a significant decline, and it is not entirely down to Dodds, nor is it all the responsibility of Michael Beale.

This run of form is the product of poor planning and reckless decisions by the Sunderland owners.

Poor planning during the summer and winter transfer windows, with the Black Cats needing a goal scorer and the balance that comes with experienced players, as well as impulsive decisions regarding Mowbray and later selecting Beale.

Sunderland, however, continues to improve.

They’ve only been in the Championship for two seasons (including this one), so even being in contention for promotion is an accomplishment.

The club has a busy summer ahead, and the manager’s position will attract a lot of great talent, so there is certainly hope for the coming season.

However, times are harsh right now, and another defeat may rapidly bring unforeseen relegation fears to Sunderland’s heads.

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