Crystal Palace midfielder Jonny Williams finally made his return to action on Saturday after spending three months on the sidelines due to a dislocated shoulder.
The Welshman- currently on loan at Championship strugglers Sunderland- came off the bench at half time as Chris Coleman’s side suffered their fifth defeat in seven league games, this time a 2-0 loss at the hands of Brentford.
That was Williams’ first appearance since November, after he required surgery following dislocating his shoulder in the Black Cats’ fixture against Millwall.
Saturday’s match was reminiscent of Sunderland’s previous game against Bristol City, in that a calamitous first half showing was the culprit of their demise, though the Black Cats were able to overturn a three-goal deficit in the second half to earn a draw last weekend.
Sunderland found themselves picking the ball out of the net after just a quarter of an hour, with some rather slacked defending between the experienced John O’Shea and Lee Cattermole giving Kamohelo Mokotjo the space to find the bottom right.
Barely fifteen minutes later and it was 2-0 to Brentford. Again Sunderland conceded the ball poorly, where the Bees were able to work the ball to Neal Maupay, who cheekily backheeled the ball into the Sunderland net.
That defeat kept Sunderland rooted firmly in the relegation zone, with only goal difference separating themselves and bottom-side Burton Albion.
Sunderland are only three points away from safety, with last season’s fellow Premier League ‘relegatee’ Hull City finding themselves in 21st place on 29 points. However, The Tigers and 22nd placed Barnsley both have games in hand, where three points could be soon stretched to six should Hull earn themselves victory over Sheffield United.
Sunderland will next be in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Bolton, where another defeat there could all but confirm their fate.