All the good work from the creditable point away to Portsmouth was undone as Bristol Rovers fell to a ninth home defeat of the season against Sunderland last Saturday.

The 2-0 loss plunged Rovers back into the relegation places as this season’s familiar inconsistency reared its ugly head once again.

Of course, high-flying Sunderland are a quality outfit at this level and a tough proposition for any League One club, but it was the manner of defeat that will worry supporters.

Starting with Jonson Clarke-Harris and Gavin Reilly up front Rovers did not muster a single shot on target the whole game.

We had a decent amount of possession but lacked creativity and when players did get into decent attacking positions the final ball or cross was woeful.

The team started well and seemed in control for the first 20 minutes but as the half progressed the Black Cats grew into the game.

Luke O’Nien netted for the visitors on 25 minutes after good work by Will Grigg and Aiden McGeady and Rovers had little to offer in response beyond a couple of off-target shots from outside the box.

The Gas never really threatened after the break and the game was put to bed by McGeady’s excellent 20 yard free kick after Rovers defender Tony Craig handled in the D 10 minutes after the restart.

The introduction of Jakubiak for Reilly gave us a little more energy up front but an attacking spark was missing as Rovers gave up the three points with a whimper.

Graham Coughlan has some serious thinking to do over the coming days.

Our relatively sound defence will not keep us up if we can’t do the business down the other end of the pitch.

Sercombe needs to start centrally, preferably in the hole behind the front two, as he’s wasted out on the wing whilst Holmes-Dennis offers more of a threat when he’s played as a winger.

We host Sunderland again next Tuesday, March 5 in the semi-final of the Checkatrade Football League Trophy and Gasheads will expect a performance with more attacking intent.

Before that we have a vital game at home to Blackpool this Saturday – three points against the Tangerines is a must.