While there were mitigating circumstances of course given Sunderland were coming off a COVID enforced break against Northampton, Lee Johnson's side failed to show much of an attacking edge.
Indeed, according to WhoScored, the Black Cats managed just three shots on target in their first game back while only three players successfully took opposition defenders on.
Their struggles in front of goal was something mentioned by Phil Smith in the Sunderland Echo too but, hopefully for supporters, transfer reports from the Sunday Mirror could help on that front.
According to yesterday's print edition (page 72), Sunderland are set to battle League One rivals Ipswich Town for the services of Barnsley winger Luke Thomas with both clubs leading the chase.
The 21-year-old has been a fairly regular presence in the Tykes' first-team this season, making 22 appearances, though only seven of those have come from the start.
With that in mind, both League One powerhouses are understood to be tracking the England U20 international this month.
GIVEMESPORT's Jonathan Gorrie says...
Thomas would suit the strategy the Sunderland Echo have previously suggested the Black Cats are likely to adopt.
Considering the salary caps in the third tier, loans for young players were reported to be an avenue the club were exploring, with Johnson wanting more pace in his side.
A move for Thomas would help on that front, as well give Sunderland more creativity in the final third. This season, his average of 0.7 dribbles per game would see him rank within the top six of Sunderland's squad, potentially giving Johnson more to work with when trying to drive at the opposition.
Last season - when afforded more of a run in the side - he averaged 1.3 key passes per game which has him ranking joint-third at the Stadium of Light this time around, so he has certainly shown an ability to create.
If Sunderland are working solely in the loan market, it looks a sensible enough addition.News Now - Sport News