Sunderland slipped out of the automatic promotion positions as they conceded five goals at home for the first time in almost four decades.

Coventry’s attackers ran riot as they claimed a 5-4 win – what were the main debating points from the game at the Stadium of Light?


Watching Sunderland’s defenders fail to cope with the pace and movement of the Coventry attack, thoughts inevitably turned to Jack Ross’ central-defensive options for the remaining five games.

Jimmy Dunne was sitting on the bench at the weekend, and the Burnley loanee has to come into consideration for Friday’s home game with Doncaster Rovers. His form had dropped slightly prior to his demotion from the starting side, but at least he does not have the mental scars of Saturday’s collapse.

But you also have to wonder what on earth has happened to Glenn Loovens. The Dutchman started nine of the opening ten League One games, but has not been seen since he was sent off at Portsmouth in December. That was a poor performance, but did it really merit him being cast into the wilderness?


Sunderland’s midfield was repeatedly ripped apart at the weekend, yet despite the presence of Lee Cattermole amongst the substitutes, Jack Ross did not attempt to shore things up and make defensive alterations from the bench.

Instead, his changes made his side even more open with Kazaiah Sterling coming on in the 64th minute to replace Grant Leadbitter and both Aiden McGeady and Benji Kimpioka also arriving on the field during the second half.

“Aiden and Kaz coming on was to chase the game,” explained Ross. “Then Benji coming on is obviously the last roll of the dice given that he’s an 18-year-old who hasn’t played a lot.”


Defensively, Sunderland’s performance was a horror show, but at the other end of the field, the Black Cats did reasonably well with Charlie Wyke once again catching the eye.

The Coventry defence couldn’t cope with Wyke’s muscular approach, and since returning to the starting line-up at Accrington, the striker has made a considerable impact.

“I said a few weeks ago if he could play in that manner he’d be a huge asset for us between now and the end of the season,” said Ross.

“He did that again here. I’m pleased he got his reward with a goal. He’ll be disappointed to be on the losing team, but it’s a big plus for us at this stage of the season.”


Prior to kick-off, the recently-christened Roker End at the Stadium of Light was a sea of colour with a host of giant flags being flown.

With more than 2,500 Coventry fans in attendance, there was a lively atmosphere all afternoon, with the drama of the game adding to the sense of occasion.

There were reports of some unsavoury scenes however, with Sunderland supporters in the North Stand claiming that Coventry supporters threw glass bottles from the top tier above them, and visiting fans ringing up Radio Five’s 606 phone-in to claim they had been attacked as they left the ground to walk to their coaches.


There were a number of eye-catching performances from the Coventry ranks, but the most impressive unquestionably came from Bright Enobakhare, who claimed his side’s first goal and caused problems all afternoon.

It was a case of ‘Bright by name, bright by nature’ as the Wolves loanee repeatedly broke free of his marker to run directly at Sunderland’s back four. The 21-year-old joined Wolves as a teenager, and while he has been unable to secure a first-team place at Molineux, spending some of last season on loan at Scottish side Kilmarnock, he looks much too good to be playing in League One.

“He’s a very good player, and we’ve been really pleased with him,” said Coventry boss Mark Robins. "He stands out at this level, a bit like (Aiden) McGeady does for Sunderland. They’re two players who don’t really belong in League One.”