Lee Johnson’s first game in charge as Sunderland boss ends in defeat as bottom of the table Wigan got shock away win.
Most of the build-up of the game surrounded Johnson and how the Sunderland players would react to his philosophy and the return of Aiden McGeady after the Irishman fell out of favour with former manager Phil Parkinson. However, the new appointment and McGeady’s return did not affect the final result with Kyle Jospeh’s 16th minute strike separating the two teams.
Sunderland adopted a more attacking formation than they did under Parkinson sacrificing a defender for an attacker by moving from a 5-3-2 formation to a 4-3-3.
Early on Sunderland dominated playing a more possession-based style of football. However, Sunderland possession did not result in goals and in the 16th minute Kyle Joseph found himself in the box and battled away from Bailey Wright who rifled home into the bottom left from 15 yards out.
Sunderland searched for an instant response and at the 20th minute it was the retuning McGeady who came inches away from an equalizer after a brilliant ball from Grant Leadbitter, but his strike found the side netting. Sunderland continued to dominate but it wasn’t until the 61st minute where they had their best chance of the game with captain Max Power making an overlapping run down the right flank and whipped in an inch perfect cross what was met by the head of Josh Scowen but his header was brilliantly saved by Wigan keeper Jamie Jones.
Jones wasn’t finished there as he made another fine save in the 67th minute as he tipped McGeady’s effort from outside the box over the bar. Sunderland pressed but couldn’t break down a Wigan defence that was excellent all day.
The defeat meant Sunderland has still not won a game since November 3rd and dropped down two places to ninth in the league.