Aiden McGeady’s injury leaves Sunderland at risk of dropping out of the playoff places.
That is according to Stadium of Light legend Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider as Sunderland prepare to face Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
Lee Johnson’s side are just two wins away from mathematically securing a playoff spot in League One.
But after a five-game winless run, the Black Cats were handed another blow after it was confirmed McGeady would miss Saturday’s game with a foot injury.
Phillips claims that a Sunderland capitulation is unlikely but not impossible given the latest McGeady news.
“It’s a big blow because he has been their best player this season by far and definitely their most creative,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.
“When you lose a player like that, you’re looking for someone to step up and take the mantle.
“Jones is an exciting young player but does he have the quality that McGeady has in this league? No, no one does. ‘
“It’s a blow and at a time that when you look at the league, you would have to say they are going to get that playoff spot.
“But you just never know what can happen in this league. They need to get that result at the weekend.”
Sunderland paid £250,000 for the 35-year-old in 2017 and he has gone on to make 128 appearances for the club, scoring 33 goals.