Journalist Pete O’Rourke believes that Lee Johnson’s job at Sunderland is safe right now – but that could change based on their results in December.
The Black Cats have tasted victory just twice in their last six League One games and have been unable to build on an excellent start.
How are Sunderland performing in League One?
Having missed out on promotion last term, their start to this season suggested that they weren’t messing around.
Sunderland collected 22 points from their opening nine games, had lost just once and held a three point lead at the top of the third-tier standings as they looked to end their stay at this level.
Johnson’s men were scoring plenty and not conceding many, which had them on course to win the title at a canter.
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However, since a 4-0 drubbing at Portsmouth in early-October, the Black Cats have struggled badly and head into their weekend clash with Oxford sitting fifth.
They might be just three points behind the leaders and do have games in hand on three of the four teams above them, but Sunderland have been given a serious reality check in recent weeks.
Seven points from their last three games has repaired some of the damage caused in October, but O’Rourke thinks that another poor run over the festive period could have Johnson fighting to save his job.
What did O’Rourke say about Johnson?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “I don’t think there will be any judgements right now on Lee Johnson’s future, but December is going to be key for him.
“They’ve got six games in League One. If things weren’t to go right then, coming up to a January transfer window as well, the board might have to think, right, it’s time for someone else to try and finish the job.”
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Who do Sunderland face in December?
Including their home game with Oxford on Saturday, Sunderland have seven League One games in just under four weeks and the fixture list has generally been kind to them.
Firstly, and most importantly, five of those seven are at home, which bodes well considering they’ve dropped just three points at the Stadium of Light all season.
Two are against Plymouth and Sheffield Wednesday, but buoyed on by a big crowd, Johnson’s side will be confident of beating anyone on their own patch.
They also face three of the bottom five, which means those seven games could go some way to defining Sunderland’s season.