ALOT has happened since we played Reading at the Stadium of Light last month.
Watching Reading that night, I actually thought they were doomed as they were so poor, even though it was a really good win for Sunderland that was comfortable in the end.
But to be fair to Brian McDermott’s side, they seem to have really picked up since and got some good results recently.
That game was also a bit of a turning point for Sunderland and the start of what has been a really good run.
The FA Cup defeat to Bolton is still a sore point, but our Premier League points return since the Reading game has us right up at the top of the current form table and Saturday’s game gives us a chance to keep that going.
After the last away game at Wigan, Sunderland will feel this is a winnable one, even though I expect Reading to be much tougher opposition than they were up here.
Reading’s home form is not that bad and they will be targeting this game as one they can get points from, but with the away end again sold out, Sunderland will be spurred on by tremendous backing.
Sunderland will need to be more proactive going forwards than they were against Swansea, although I don’t think Reading are anywhere near as good defensively and that will encourage the likes of Steven Fletcher (pictured, left), Stephane Sessegnon and Adam Johnson.
Reading’s strength is attacking and they have enjoyed superb comebacks against West Brom and Newcastle, and scored three times against Man United.
But given their weaknesses defensively, you would fancy Sunderland to create chances.
In this frustratingly inconsistent season, Sunderland seem to have quite often followed a poor performance with a good one and I would not bet against that on Saturday.
And if they can get across the 30-point barrier, then it makes the following games that much easier.
A win against Reading would put them in quite a handy position in the table for the last third of the season and suddenly the top 10 would be a possibility, which seemed so unlikely just a couple of months ago.