6 things: Lynden Gooch shows desire needed plus has Lee Cattermole played last game for Sunderland?
Sunderland's League One campaign is up and running.
Here's what we learned from the dramatic 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic at the Stadium of Light.
Lynden Gooch shows the desire Sunderland will need this season.
With 90+6 minutes on the clock, Sunderland won a corner. Chris Maguire - contender for man of the match - delivered the ball low to Gooch outside the area. He miscontrolled the ball. Groans in the stands.
Gooch doesn’t give up though, with Bryan Oviedo picking the ball up wide left, Gooch made a run to the back post and powered home a superb header.
The academy product showed great desire to get on the end of the delivery and secure all three points.
There was a real buzz about the city before, during and after the game.
Two hours before kick-off there was a lot of supporters already at the ground, sampling the pre-match atmosphere and FanZone, with owner Stewart Donald and new director Juan Sartori enjoying a kick-about with fans.
There were ticketing issues for a large section of supporters before kick-off but the atmosphere once the game got going was incredible.
The official attendance was 31,079, truly stunning support.
Has Hull City loan target Lee Cattermole played his final game for the club?
Jack Ross put Cattermole’s absence from the Sunderland matchday squad down to tactical reasons. If Cattermole can’t get a game in the opening game of the season against Charlton Athletic, who had experienced campaigner Darren Pratley in their midfield, then it doesn’t bode well for Cattermole.
Instead, Ross went with 16-year-old Bali Mumba and new signing Luke O’Nien in central midfield. Youngster Elliot Embleton on the bench.
Bali Mumba did not look out of place.
Jack Ross handed the 16-year-old his first start for the club and the teenager can be proud of his performance.
Charlton were better all over the pitch in the first half but Mumba played an important role in the second half comeback, alongside his more experienced teammates.
He also showed bravery when, on the rare occasion, he did lose the ball, trying to win it back quickly and was always available for a pass. Mumba is a talent.
Awful first half shows there is still work to be done.
Sunderland were second best all over the pitch in the opening 45 minutes, the central defence pairing of Alim Ozturk and Glenn Loovens pedestrian, struggling against the pacy Charlton attack.
Josh Maja was isolated and the service to him was poor. The second half was a transformation, thanks to Ross’ tactical switch to wingbacks and the introduction of Jerome Sinclair.
Plenty of positives for Sunderland but still much work to be done.
Decision to close the Premier Concourse is justified.
Sunderland were backed by 31,079 fans against Charlton, with the lower bowl of the Stadium of Light creating a cauldron of noise.
The atmosphere was one of the best witnessed in years, the noise created when Lynden Gooch powered home the header phenomenal.
It justified the decision of the previous regime to close the Premier Concourse for this season in a bid to boost the atmosphere.
Many more days like Saturday and the new owners will soon have to reopen it to cope with demand.