Having been thrashed 3-0 at the Stadium of Light against Coventry City on Saturday, one EFL pundit believes things will worsen for new Sunderland boss Michael Beale on Boxing Day.
After being appointed as Tony Mowbray’s permanent successor in the dugout at the start of the previous week, Beale endured a torrid start to life in charge of the Wearside club as Mark Robins’ Sky Blues walked away with all three points.
Tatsuhiro Sakamoto opened the scoring for the visitors just before half-time but Sunderland couldn’t score an equaliser before two goals from Callum O’Hare and Kasey Palmer three minutes apart with little over 20 minutes remaining put the game to bed.
Jude Bellingham couldn't believe this one didn't go in! 😫 pic.twitter.com/c4mQ1XsDQa
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) December 24, 2023
This was the worst defeat any manager has suffered on their home debut in the club’s history, dating back to the 19th Century and spans 41 different permanent head coaches, according to SAFC Data Analytics.
The heavy loss was made even worse by Hull City’s 3-2 defeat away at Bristol City on Friday night, meaning Sunderland missed an opportunity to leap back into the playoffs with a win against Coventry.
However, Beale’s men have a chance to right their wrongs as they travel to the MKM Stadium to take on the Tigers on Tuesday. The last time Beale faced Hull, his Queens Park Rangers side came out on top with a 3-1 win at Loftus Road.
Nevertheless, writing in his EFL predictions column for Sky Sports, pundit and former Leeds United man David Prutton believes Sunderland will be handed yet another defeat under Beale by two goals to one.
“Hull have been excellent at some stages this season. At others, they throw in frustrating performances and end up with results like the ones at Bristol City. But they have a lot of young players, so there will be some inconsistency.