Match Preview | Sunderland vs. Cardiff City
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
Sunderland’s boss is Tony Mowbray, who was appointed in August 2022, replacing previous manager Alex Neil.
In his playing days, Mowbray made a remarkable 348 league appearances for Middlesbrough. He also had spells at Celtic and Ipswich Town.
After a spell as caretaker manager of Ipswich, Mowbray’s first permanent role in management was with Scottish outfit Hibernian, before moving to West Bromwich Albion in 2006.
He had an impressive spell with the Baggies, leading them to the Championship title in 2008.
After a short spell with his former club Celtic, Mowbray also managed Middlesbrough and Coventry City, prior to moving to Blackburn Rovers in 2017.
Mowbray earned a promotion for the second time in management, securing second place in League One with Blackburn in 2018.
Now in the hot seat at the Stadium of Light, Mowbray’s side finished sixth in the Championship table last season, losing in the play-off semi-finals to Luton Town.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | SEASON SO FAR
With seven fixtures of the 2023/24 Sky Bet Championship season played, Sunderland have recorded four victories.
On the opening day, the Black Cats fell to a 2-1 defeat to newly-promoted Ipswich Town, before following up with a 2-1 loss at Preston North End.
However, Mowbray’s men have been unbeaten since then and have recorded some impressive wins.
Defeating Rotherham United to earn their first points of the campaign, a goalless draw at Coventry City followed.
Welcoming Southampton to the Stadium of Light, Sunderland put in a fine performance in a 5-0 win, before claiming a 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers.
In midweek, the side faced Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, which ended in an impressive 3-1 win.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | KEY PLAYER
A big boost for Sunderland this summer was being able to keep winger Jack Clarke at the club.
The 22-year-old came through the ranks at Leeds United and broke into the first-team, before sealing a move to Tottenham Hotspur.
Initially joining the Black Cats on loan in 2022, Clarke made a permanent move to the Stadium of Light.
Last season, the winger netted 11 goals in all competitions, as well as contributing with 14 assists.
Clarke has made a positive start to this campaign, netting five league goals so far.
CLUB CONNECTION | ADAM MATTHEWS
Right-back Adam Matthews came through the ranks with the Bluebirds, making his professional debut on August 15th, 2009 in a 1-1 draw against Blackpool.
Matthews went on to impress in a City shirt and attract interest from numerous clubs, before signing for Celtic in 2011.
His spell in Scotland resulted in four titles, as well as starting in a famous 2-1 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League.
Moving to Sunderland in 2015, the right-back spent four seasons at the Stadium of Light.
His time with the Black Cats resulted in 58 league appearances, netting two goals for the club.