Sunderland’s ‘staying power’ in the promotion race with the likes of Leeds United and Leicester City has been questioned by former winger Matt Piper. The Black Cats currently sit sixth in the Championship during the final international break of 2023, having beaten Birmingham City in their last outing.
Leicester and Ipswich Town have opened up an eight-point cushion over the playoff positions following a fine start to the season, although the Foxes have lost their last two matches. Leeds have recovered from a slow start to occupy third spot, with Southampton and Preston also both sat above Sunderland with little over a third of the season gone.
Piper believes Leicester and Leeds deserve to be considered the ‘powerhouse’ contenders to secure a swift return to the Premier League. The pundit also believes Southampton and Sunderland are in the running, but has cast doubts over whether Tony Mowbray’s team can last the distance.
He told BBC’s When You’re Smiling podcast via Inside Futbol: “I like Leeds, I like Sunderland and Southampton. Sunderland are very similar to us; there are quite a lot of young lads and you just think have Sunderland got the staying power? I don’t know they have.
“I think Leeds are a powerhouse and I think we are. We have got some experience throughout the squad as well that will help us later in the season.”
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