Joseph Owens: Derby Day win can push Sunderland to Premier League survival

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WHAT happened on Easter Sunday is hard to truly represent in words.

That feeling of elation when the ball left Jermain Defoe’s left boot and nestled in the corner of Tim Krul’s net. The roar as Costel Pantilimon plucked Ryan Taylor’s corner out of the air, instantly enlarged as Mike Dean blew the final whistle.

It was as if every sour memory, every disappointed feeling that had transpired before – the eight goal thrashing, the four goal decimation at the hands of Aston Villa – were momentarily forgotten. Finally Sunderland supporters had something to be proud of.

As much as Sunderland deserve to be celebrating another derby victory, the fans know all too well how quickly that pride can be snatched away. The players now need to use that sense of local heroism to a promising finish.

With only three home games remaining, Sunderland need to channel that energy and give their fans something to look forward to once again.

The players, nor fans, cannot grumble with Crystal Palace at home as the next fixture. It is a game that should be expected to provide points and aid the mission to survive. As long as Sunderland have the same heart and dedication on display Sunday, this indeed could be the win that pushes them on.

The home fixtures against Leicester City, Southampton and Palace are going to be the fuel that keeps the drive towards another season in the Premier League.

* This article was sent into the Echo by a reader for our new Black Cats eight-page supplement, titled The Roar! - which will be in the paper every Wednesday.

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