Thanks to the interruption of international football, it has been a week of reflection, realisation and contemplation for me.
When Sunderland secured their top flight status back in May with a game to spare, I like many others, could see the green shoots of recovery finally revealing themselves after lying dormant for so many years.
Big Sam would very quickly set to work; carefully nurturing our team through pre-season, sprinkling the squad with a few quality signings to steer us clear of those all too familiar choppy waters.
I thought of Yann M'Vila, Eden Dzeko and Vincent Iborra.
I dreamt of mid-table mediocrity.
I even brazenly allowed myself to think of a good run in the cup. Yes, things really were looking up. We had the right man at the helm and we were in decent shape.
Everyone connected with SAFC were looking forward to the 2016-17 season.
Little did we know that things were to dramatically change in the blink of an eye, as the suits from The FA came calling at our door.
To say that this campaign hasn't turned out how it should have would be a huge understatement.
Playing catch up in the transfer market meant some of our acquisitions were hastily signed, leaving ourselves desperately short in other key areas.
Injuries haven't helped, and we find ourselves heading into the final 10 games in a perilous position once again.
Bizarrely we're still in with a fighting chance somehow, and the players quite simply have to believe.
In a week where a 34-year-old Sunderland striker quite rightly came out of the international wilderness to lead the England line and get on the score-sheet, anything can happen.
That same man epitomises belief and what it can help a footballer achieve, even when all seems lost.
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