Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson must consider axing Denver Hume from his starting line-up after the Black Cats product offered a wasteful showing against Ipswich Town in Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory.
Parkinson opted to hand Hume his ninth start of the League One season at home to the Tractor Boys, with the 22-year-old retaining his spot on the left-flank for a fifth game in succession having only sat out October’s 2-0 win away to Swindon Town to date.
Hume has consistently had the backing of Parkinson across all competitions this term, with the Northumberland-born youngster also yet to be substituted when fielded in the third-tier, EFL Trophy or EFL Cup, despite scoring his only goal of the campaign in the Papa John’s Trophy against Carlisle and assisting efforts in league meetings with Peterborough and Portsmouth.
The natural full-back failed to strike his first league goal of the season against Ipswich after providing a wasteful display as Sunderland strived to secure back-to-back wins, while occasionally being caught out defensively to leave Tom Flanagan exposed against Alan Judge and Teddy Bishop.
Tuesday night’s clash with Ipswich at the Stadium of Light was not the first occasion where Hume has struggled to impress against the Tractor Boys, either, with former Black Cats boss Jack Ross forced to substitute the 22-year-old during the break at Portman Road last season.
“I said to him after Ipswich when he was taken off and didn’t play well that it was how you respond to it,” Ross said, via quotes by the Chronicle. “To be a professional footballer for the next 10, 15 years he’s going to have to do that.
“We knew how we wanted to play on Saturday [against Wimbledon], and we knew our full-backs would get out and I thought it was important we had that balance on that side of the pitch. We knew we’d have him high up the park and that’s where his strengths are.
“To be able to do it at 20-years-old was good, pleasing and he’ll be able to take confidence from that. I’m pleased he had a good performance because it was a difficult couple of games for him. He’s a young man still and it’s great to see him take opportunities and play well.”
Hume was unable to demonstrate his offensive strengths against Ipswich in his latest meeting with the Tractor Boys, as the Sunderland product could only win two of his 11 duels – both coming from nine attempted ground battles – and delivered just one accurate cross from five attempts, per SofaScore.
His efforts ensured the natural left-back recorded the lowest match rating by a starting member of the Sunderland XI at 6.3 out of 10, having also lost possession 17 times, committed one foul, attempted zero efforts on goal, attempted just one dribble, offered no tackles or interceptions and completed a lowly 14 passes.
One of Hume’s 18 attempted passes that did find a teammate led Sunderland to having a shot on goal, while also completing each of his three long balls and registering three clearances. But Parkinson will need to see a great deal more from the 22-year-old in training if the Black Cats boss intends to field him against Mansfield Town in Saturday’s FA Cup clash.
Benching Hume after a poor showing against Ipswich could see Parkinson benefit in a likewise manner to how Ross profited upon his return to the starting line-up against Wimbledon in 2019, though, with the 22-year-old failing to vividly impress since September’s victory over Peterborough when he assisted the sole goal of the affair.
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