Compare what we just saw to the last couple against Hull City and Cardiff City and the improvement was clear to see, although we are still a long way away from where we need to be. Some of the players aren’t good enough and they will be replaced once Heckingbottom gets to grips with this squad. What was important to me today was he changed the system and gave it time, and some of the players will have impressed him, if not all.
Felix Wiedwald – 6 – Didn’t do anything good or bad, just a steady performance.
Stuart Dallas – 7 – Actually played very well, not his natural position, got forward when he could.
Pontus Jansson – 7 – The best I’ve seen him for some time, got his head on almost everything.
Matthew Pennington – 5 – Didn’t think he played very well. For second time this season he let Billy Sharp peel off him in first minute and score, tried and overhead kick at one point when we were building pressure.
Laurens De Bock – 5 – I thought he gave the ball away needlessly on various occasions and mistimed a few tackles in daft areas.
Eunan O’Kane – 4 – Had a shocker really. For some reason he didn’t head away for the opener, was unfairly the victim of a dive for the winner but juts in general he was very poor. Should be dropped after that.
Kalvin Phillips – 5 – Didn’t do enough on the ball, and was a passenger at times in the first-half. Did make a few nice passes but his overall contribution wasn’t good enough.
Adam Forshaw – 7 – The best of the midfielders, kept the ball well and looked to drive us forward. seriously let down by O’Kane.
Gjanni Alioksi – 3 – Where do I start? Can’t remember the last time he had a decent game, terrible again today. Overhead kicks and plenty of losing the ball as is the script with him currently.
Kemar Roofe – 3 – The double of Alioksi today. Meant to be the outlets, both let the team down going forward.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga – 7 – I had written him off a month ago but he is showing desire and quality. One of the best headers you’ll see all season and in general a very industrious performance.
Pablo Hernandez – 8 – #PASMOM – Changed the game, got on the ball and worked very hard.
Hadi Sacko – 5 – Needs to believe in himself, but a better outlet than both Alioksi and Roofe combined.
Caleb Ekuban – 5 – Didn’t have time to make an impact, him and Lasogga up front seems very suited.