AFTER the Magpies and the Seagulls, the Swans are next up for the Black Cats on Saturday.
Steve Bruce takes his men to Wales for the club’s first game against one of the newly-promoted sides this season.
And the importance of a win there for Sunderland can hardly be overstated.
It’s hard to believe we are going into the fourth game of the season talking about Sunderland being under pressure – especially when that first game was a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield!
But that’s certainly the case because the last two games have really put the club on the back foot and the team could really do with that first win of the season to settle the nerves.
Swansea are a bit like Brighton in the sense that they like to play football – and a bit like Sunderland in that they are struggling to find a cutting edge.
We all know it’s a dangerous time to play a newly-promoted club – they tend to still be on a high in the opening few weeks of the season and playing without fear – and there’s no doubt Sunderland will have to be on their mettle this weekend.
The last thing Swansea will be doing is gifting points and they’ll look at Sunderland’s visit to the Liberty Stadium as one they can win, given Sunderland’s current form.
But Steve Bruce must work on gelling his side together as quickly as possible and solve the problem of a lack of real threat in front of goal before the trip to Swansea.
READ the full column in Thursday’s Echo