If Sunderland are to make an immediate return to the Championship for next season then they will have to do it via the play-offs.

Automatic promotion is officially off the table after Sunderland were beaten 2-1 by Fleetwood Town.

A last-minute Fleetwood winner mattered little in the grand-scheme of things because a draw would not have been enough anyway, but still, it’s not a great feeling to lose – particularly when the players now have to pick themselves up for Saturday’s curtain closer against Southend, which will now have the significance of determining how favourable the semi-final play-off tie is to them.

But how did the Black Cats players play at Highbury Stadium? Here’s James Hunter’s player ratings.

JON McLAUGHLIN 6

Hardly troubled yet still conceded two goals

LUKE O’NIEN 6

Did OK and got forward when he could

TOM FLANAGAN 6

Very good in the first half but has to accept his share of responsibility for the goals

ALIM OZTURK 6

Like Flanagan, good in the first half but poor defending let Sunderland down in the second

BRYAN OVIEDO 5

Not his best performance either defensively or going forward

Bryan Oviedo on the attack.
Bryan Oviedo on the attack.

LEE CATTERMOLE 7

Scored his seventh goal of the season and ran the midfield for most of the match

MAX POWER 6

Solid alongside Cattermole but faded in the second half

LYNDEN GOOCH 5

Never really got into the game

CHRIS MAGUIRE 6

Did OK on his first start since returning from a broken leg

LEWIS MORGAN 7

Caused Fleetwood problems and was the man most likely to conjure a second goal

WILL GRIGG 5

Hit the woodwork and was denied by the keeper, but he was below-par

Will Grigg
Will Grigg

SUBS

KAZ STERLING 5

For Grigg 65mins. Struggled to make an impact

GEORGE HONEYMAN 6

For Maguire 70mins. Brought energy and industry but it wasn’t enough

NOT USED: Ruiter, Dunne, Hume, Leadbitter, Matthews

Rate the players

Now it’s your turn to rate the Sunderland players

.(tagsToTranslate)Sunderland AFC

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