Maja sit­u­a­tion threat­ens to de­rail sea­son

Sunderland Echo - - Sport - Gary Fos­ter

Two point lost or one point gained? That was the ques­tion af­ter Satur­day’s 1-1 draw at home to Lu­ton Town. Cer­tainly, af­ter the game, man­ager Jack Ross pre­ferred to look to the pos­i­tives.

Ross said: “If we don’t win at home we al­ways feel frus­trated and dis­ap­pointed. But we were play­ing against a good team.

“I know when I say that it’s an­other point to­wards the to­tal, peo­ple will say that I’m de­flect­ing at­ten­tion away be­cause we haven’t won.

“But there’s an el­e­ment of fact about it. We are in a good po­si­tion at the mo­ment - not a great po­si­tion, but a good po­si­tion.

“We still have a game in hand over those top two teams and if we win that game in hand then we will be in an even bet­ter po­si­tion.”

Hard to ar­gue with that kind of logic, and I’m cer­tainly not rec­om­mend­ing any sort of hys­te­ria about the re­sult.

How­ever, I do see one or two things that give me cause for con­cern the main one be­ing the pos­si­ble de­par­ture of Josh Maja.

Yeah, I know, ‘no one player is big­ger than the club’, ‘he should stand up to his agent’, ‘his agent is a this, that and the other’.

But there’s no doubt the kid is a miss.

He gives us goals, prob­a­bly suits the way we are play­ing bet­ter than any of other cur­rent for­wards, and looks like he will only get bet­ter.

Of course, the club can’t af­ford to be held to ran­som, but what­ever fee he com­mands should he go in this trans­fer win­dow, in my opin­ion he won’t be easy to re­place.

It is easy to say that it should have been sorted be­fore now, but there was a huge pe­riod of tran­si­tion for the club with the new own­ers com­ing in last sum­mer, and drop­ping down a di­vi­sion.

But I do hope lessons have been learned.

It’s all be­come a bit ‘he said, she said’ at the minute, but what­ever the whys and the where­fores, I don’t think go­ing pub­lic with dead­lines etc has been a wise move.

I can’t see where that was ever go­ing to be ben­e­fi­cial - I guess we will find out if he stays or goes in the com­ing cou­ple of weeks.

I hope it’s the for­mer, but if it’s go­ing to be the lat­ter then let’s hope we have some­thing up our sleeves to re­place the goals Maja brings to the side.

The other thing I worry about (well one of them) is that the weight of ex­pec­ta­tion doesn’t be­come a bur­den.

It has been re­fresh­ing to en­joy the foot­ball, the at­mos­phere and the re­sults this term (and yes be­fore those lads who like to shout at shops get up­set, it is only League One and it was only your academy side, no one here is get­ting car­ried away).

But this is vir­tu­ally a new squad, and while we should hope­fully have enough about us to make sure we go up, let’s not start tak­ing it for granted.

And let’s not start to worry too much when things aren’t go­ing our way.

The su­perb sup­port has once again been a joy to be­hold this sea­son and long may it con­tinue.

Let’s keep get­ting be­hind the lads, win, lose or draw and let’s hope it will be a sea­son to re­mem­ber.

Wise Men Say is pro­duced twice weekly on a Mon­day and a Thurs­day. To sub­scribe and lis­ten to the lat­est episode, visit wise­men­say.co.uk

Josh Maja.

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