I feel that equilibrium has restored from that win on Monday night.
Barring glaring, inexplicable errors made by officials and Sunderland players against West Brom and Southampton, the Black Cats would have had a two extra points on board before taking on Palace – and they’d have been earned in true Sam Allardyce fashion.
Squeeze the life out a certain games, get a point and move on. Keep the points from such games ticking over and beat some of the other sides with a slightly more expansive game plan when the opportunity arises. That’s how most expected Allardyce to accumulate the points required to stay up.
A point from each of the aforementioned games would have been a fair reflection of the former West Ham boss’s early time on Wearside before Monday night.
Now you can’t always think about the “what ifs” as a football fan, it would drive you insane to do so because of the regularity of them. It’s not healthy to continually call on injustices as rationale for not doing well.
Look at the way Newcastle fans reacted to the derby defeat. It’s ridiculous.
But so early into Big Sam’s reign it was difficult not to bemoan those individual errors that had pegged us back a touch and undid all the hard defensive work displayed by the side.
One moment of error resulted in the only goals in each game and it was highly frustrating and difficult to take.
So, although the better chances in fact fell to the away side at Selhurst Park this week, the fact that the opposition’s glaring defensive mistake turned a probable point into three felt satisfying to say the least.
I feel the point tally is about right now and I truly believe we can expect to grind out more 1-0s and 0-0s on the road by following similar tactical instructions.
It’s the patience required from us all when playing at home I’m more worried about.
It’s a natural instinct for every football fan to want their sides to set up in a more proacative manner at home, and a game against a steady, but unspectacular Stoke side is one that many might be licking their lips at.
But the truth is, this is a side with a couple of outstanding results on the road this season who’ll very much want the Black Cats to go firing out of the blocks at them and watch them fall into their trap.
We sat through an uncomfortable 90 minutes against Southampton three weeks ago and this could be a lot worse. A cat and mouse game of football could well be on the cards and the players need patience from the home fans now more than ever.
The inability to win these home games has left every fan frustrated in the last few years, so it’s understandable that people want to see more attacking intent.
But unless Sam is afforded time to build some foundations, we’ll never get to the point where those tactics can be justified.
The call for patience extends to the players too. Yann M’Vila’s penalty costing lunge against Southampton was one black mark on a very disciplined defensive performance and the players need to keep composed and head-strong even if us in the stands do get a tad restless.
It may be ugly, it may be frustrating, but if it’s back to back wins for the first time in the Premier League this season, then it will be worth it.
Ha’way the lads.
* The Wise Men Say podcast is available from every Monday, with SAFC debate from a variety of guests and post-match reaction. You can stream it direct from wisemensay.co.uk or subscribe to it on iTunes