Certain satisfaction over point at Sunderland but lack of goals remains a worry, says Preston fan Tim Mercer

In more normal times a point away at Sunderland, combined with a clean sheet, would leave this fan feeling reasonably satisfied as he left the Stadium of Light in the welcome autumn sunshine.
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However, these are not normal times when you have only three goals to show to your name after 11 Championship matches.

Again, a solid defence was effectively wasted due to North End’s inability to stick the ball in the back of the net. To be fair the hosts were no better in terms of goal threat, with both sides having only a few limited opportunities that didn’t really lift a typically large Wearside crowd.

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Ryan Lowe decided to give a rare start to Ched Evans up top with Troy Parrott dropping to the bench. Perhaps this was in hope of a change bringing a goal and, whilst Evans did force a save in the first half, it all just felt too routine.

Robbie Brady puts Sunderland's goalkeeper Anthony Patterson under pressureRobbie Brady puts Sunderland's goalkeeper Anthony Patterson under pressure
Robbie Brady puts Sunderland's goalkeeper Anthony Patterson under pressure

The same can be said for a shot and a header, one in each half by Ben Whiteman and Jordan Storey respectively, being cleared off the line. Neither really got my heart pumping as belief continues to drain away from the terraces. The one bright spark is the positive form of on-loan wingback Álvaro Fernández. He stood out against the backdrop of this typical Championship fayre, with his name chanted repeatedly by those around me.

There is still plenty of time left for a forward to find form and inject that vital ingredient of confidence that can change a season and a player’s career.

How it comes about I do not care as we prepare for home match against West Bromwich Albion.