When Sunderland star Jordan Pickford was ruled out long-term earlier this week, Black Cats fans feared the worst after witnessing the England Under-21 international’s imperative displays in the North East side’s battle for survival.

However, the Stadium of Light faithful believed that former number one Vito Mannone could slot back into his previous role in the starting XI, and continue the 22-year-old’s good work.

But during the 90 minutes at Burnley on Saturday the Mackems’ nightmare was realised after an atrocious display by the Italian custodian.

The 28-year-old shot-stopper went from bad to worse as the match took its course, and Sunderland were punished repeatedly by his inadequacies in between the sticks.

The Desio-born goalkeeper was to blame for two of Andre Gray’s finishes and then stood motionless as Ashley Barnes converted Burnley’s fourth from the spot.

Mannone’s performance was to a level that the red and white army have not seen in a considerable amount of time, and if the drafted-in stopper continues in this vain he will do nothing but catalyse the Black Cats’ demise from the Premier League.


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