Writer: Gary Johnson
Date:Friday January 21 2011
Wow, what a week! Late point against the enemy saved our bacon and then our top striker walks out 48 hours later.
Steve Bruce was not aware that would happen and has been frantically trying to bolster his attack before the window shuts. He probably has forgot we have an important game on Saturday.
Sunderland head to Bloomfield Road to take on the impressive Blackpool who are the only team this season to win at our ground.
Their attacking, no nonsense approach has been rewarded by their points total but home form is also a little shaky.
We need to hope for a brave performance from our squad to keep us in the top six hunt and then build before the window shuts on 31st January.
Steve Bruce said: 'Make no mistake, any club is bigger than one individual and the club will always - always - march on, and that's my determination.
'Yes, we have had a setback and it's probably our first one in the 20 months I have been here, but we will need to be bigger and stronger.
'Certainly with the money it has generated, it gives me a chance to improve the squad in the long term. But we will have to be a little bit patient for that.'
Blackpool have no injury concerns and should play a fully fit squad.
Sunderland have been linked to the little midfielder and Liverpool have recently had a £4m bid rejected by Holloway.
We need to stop him from dictating the centre of the park and if we keep him quiet we have a chance.
Sunderland will still be without Lee Cattermole due to his back injury.
4-5-1 should be the formation as Gyan leads the line due to our striker shortage.
Now he is the main focus of our attack he will look to grab this opportunity with both hands.
He is now our top goalscorer and will be looking for another after grabbing the late point against Newcastle.
Seven of Sunderland's 26 league goals this season have come in the 86th minute or later.
The Seasiders have scored and conceded in all of their home matches this season.
Referee: Lee Mason Assistant referees: Andy Halliday & Patrick Keane Fourth official: Chris Foy
Blackpool 1 - 2 Sunderland I feel as though the players will have a point to prove now they have lost Bent up top. With Blackpool on a run of 4 defeats out of five we need to make this game count towards our points total come May.
The run of difficult fixtures begin with a game against the champions on Feb 1st during the week on 1st Feb.
Let's hope for another 3-0 romp eh?
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Date:Friday January 21 2011
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