Charlie Cruikshanks: Jeremain Lens and Yann M’Vila look the business for improving Sunderland

Jeremain Lens in action against Leicester City

Jeremain Lens in action against Leicester City

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I don’t know why but before a ball was kicked I was strangely optimistic even though the pre-season was hopeless.

I bet a Leicester fan that whoever finished lower at the end of the season would pay the other a pound for every place the other team was higher by.

I thought that both teams would be in the bottom six so I was unlikely to shell out more than a fiver, so really not that brave!

But four games into the season, Sunderland are bottom and Leicester are in the top three!

So far, so bad then.

Yet even with my skills at punditry I now, worryingly, have a fresh feeling of optimism again.

It’s tenuous but it’s a whole three games undefeated counting the Exeter game.

I really do think that there may be goals in this team and I don’t mean all at our end.

The new signings Jeremain Lens and Yann M’Vila look the business, Jermain Defoe is looking sharp and we have just signed Fabio Borini.

The defence is suspect I know but improving and maybe better concentration and communication, then things will improve.

It really is the hope that gets to you in the end.