THERE is a golden rule in sports journalism when covering matches. It is to write what you see not what you are told.

That may seem obvious but a little trick some managers and coaches try to use when things have not gone right for them on the pitch is to give the local reporter a crumb of a positive headline and hope he runs with it when the real story is at the other end of the scale.

It seems Lee Johnson tried that on Saturday – or maybe it was a case of running out of things to say.

City were 3-0 up at half-time against a Sunderland side who are struggling at the wrong end of the Championship table.

The Robins were seemingly on the way to victory that would ease their concerns about their promotion push as landing one win against Queens Park Rangers and a goal-less draw with Derby in January had been all they could muster since beating Reading 2-0 on Boxing Day.

A goal from Aden Flint and two from Famara Diedhiou had put City 3-0 up at half-time against a Black Cats side which was battling with Burton Albion to get off the bottom of the table.

But City capitulated in the second-half. With 20 minutes to go and in the driving seat, Josh Brownhill put through his own net. With nine minutes left, Sunderland sub Aiden McGready beat Frank Fielding in the home goal to make it 3-2.

Into injury time, City were just about home but disaster struck when Marlon Pack also scored an own goal, leaving the game all square at the end.

So what about that comment? Johnson said afterwards: “Yes, we dropped two points but it’s still a good point!” Really? I doubt the fans would agree, Mr J, as City go onto Elland Road to face Leeds United on Saturday.

* Everyone at the Gloucestershire Gazette wish regular City Chat columnist Will Collins a speedy recovery from a recent bout of illness.