Finally a Sunderland team willing to fight and scrap with '˜true professional' Lee Cattermole at the heart

There can't be anything wrong with Jack Ross' new team's character and resolve after coming from behind to win in their last two away games at Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon.

Monday, 27th August 2018, 2:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th August 2018, 9:36 am

That is four wins out of the first five fixtures and that is a return far better than many thought, with Sunderland adapting brilliantly to life in League One.

Of those four wins, in three of them, Sunderland have conceded first which in season’s past would have meant almost certain defeat.

Sunderland fans have enjoyed a good week on the road.

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But there seems a far better attitude now that you can trace right back to the opening day and the fans are recognising that whatever the abilities of this team, they will scrap, fight and they all look proud to represent Sunderland AFC - and that is the most important thing to Sunderland fans.

Talking of the fans, taking over 2,000 to Gillingham - a 600-mile round-trip - for a midweek game simply takes your breath away.

I have seen some Premier League clubs come to the Stadium of Light for a 3pm Saturday fixture and bring less than half what we took to Gillingham.

Saturday’s win at Wimbledon wasn’t pretty but the team found a way to win when not at their best, something that every manager loves from his team.

It might not have been a great performance from Sunderland but it was a great performance from Lee Cattermole, who ended up as the two-goal hero and you’d have got long odds for that to happen before the game.

Cattermole’s very future at Sunderland looked precarious at the start of the season and he divided opinion.

But I doubt there is many who want him to leave now as he has been excellent and a true professional since his return to the team.

I’d have loved to have seen Josh Maja continue his hot scoring streak, instead he will just have to start another run - starting this Saturday against Oxford.

I think when Jack Ross joined in the summer, his biggest challenge was repairing the bond between the club and fanbase.

That had been seriously damaged but I am absolutely thrilled that the fans are feeling good again and optimistic about the future and while we all know it is just the start - with a long way to go - Sunderland look to be heading in the right direction with everybody pulling together after two years of what seemed the total opposite.