Hull could have been David Moyes' Steve Bruce moment '“ but now I think we'll win
It wasn't the turning of a corner, but the win against Bournemouth has at least put us back in the car and back on the road.
If you want to labour that metaphor even more, the Hull game will decide whether we embarrassingly stall the vehicle or smoothly negotiate the turn.
The Stadium of Light will host the first relegation six pointer of the season on Saturday and the fighting spirit displayed on the South Coast has to be brought to the banks of the Wear.
Provided his ribs have recovered, Victor Anichebe will once again start and he’ll hopefully cause a fragile Hull defence all kinds of problems.
Most fans acknowledge that Anichebe won’t play like he did against Bournemouth every week, Everton and West Brom fans will testify to that, but if he can be a nuisance and drag defenders out of position, that’ll do. Freeing up space for Jermain Defoe to exploit and bringing other players into play is what we’ve needed all season and it has to continue against The Tigers.
The main speculation around the starting XI comes in the midfield. With Steven Pienaar suspended, at least one change will have to made in the middle and it could come be a player returning to full fitness.
Lee Cattermole, Sebastian Larsson and possibly even Jan Kirchhoff could make the match day squad on Saturday, with the Swede being closest to full fitness.
Added enthusiasm, work rate and organisation certainly won’t go a miss for Sunderland, something Seb brings in abundance.
Regardless of who starts though, Sunderland finally have options in the midfield again and unconvincing performers such as Paddy McNair and Jack Rodwell should start to see their places under threat.
It really feels like the mood has shifted at Sunderland, if nothing else. Important players coming back to full fitness gives you renewed confidence that we can actually build on our first win. If we can get a scrappy win away from home then why can’t we beat a side, at home, who’ve struggled just as much as we have?
“Clackers” will be laid out on the seats in the SoL in honour of Charlie Hurley Day but while it’s great to honour the player of the century, those bits of card won’t needed if the players do their bit. Atmospheres haven’t been great this season but fans have had little shout about. Chelsea nd Everton last season proved that when the players turn up, the supporters find their voice.
Even if we don’t win on Saturday, a committed performance where you can see what the team is trying to achieve will appease most.
Just after the dismal defeat to Arsenal, I was dreading this game. I thought this would be game where everything turned against Moyes, a la Steve Bruce v Wigan. Now though, I can’t wait for it.
I feel confident. Say it quietly, but I actually think we’ll win. Show the same character as we did last time out with nice, fluid attacking play and it’s ours to lose.
We’ll find a way to make it difficult, of course we will, but it’s nice to be optimistic again.
Come on lads, turn the corner and let me ride this feeling a little longer.
Rory Fallow writes for Wise Men Say. You can download their SAFC podcast every Monday from iTunes