John Terry is reminder of how far SAFC have fallen '“ now they must beat either Aston Villa or QPR to survive
It's another massive few days for Sunderland with a trip to QPR on Saturday, but before that is the visit of former boss Steve Bruce's Aston Villa side tonight, in a game were both teams are desperate for the points.
Villa will know a win tonight would give their automatic promotion hopes a massive boost, but more importantly to Sunderland fans, anything but three points tonight just pushes Sunderland nearer the trap door.
Villa have some high profile players in their squad; Robert Snodgrass, a player who Sunderland were interested in until Villa pounced and signed him on loan from West Ham, Lewis Grabban – who left Sunderland in January as our top scorer and probably still will be at the end of the season – and of course their summer signing John Terry.
The former Chelsea skipper might divide opinion, but in my view, he is one of the best defenders and captains throughout the Premier League years.
However, one game he won’t look back on as a good one from his Chelsea career was his visit to Wearside when his team lost 3-2 to a magnificent Sunderland performance and he capped it off with a late red card.
That game against Chelsea was truly one of the very best I have ever seen from a Sunderland team and just makes you wonder how is it possible to have fallen so far in such a short space of time?
Remember that Chelsea win was followed by another great win over Everton just days later, no wonder the supporters are frustrated and outraged with the current situation.
So, the Villa game will be another huge psychological test for the players.
Sometimes, like against Middlesbrough, they roll up their sleeves and show character and spirit, but too often this season they have buckled under the pressure, so tonight we definitely need the former.
The QPR game just four days later has to be viewed as winnable.
Rangers should be respected but not feared, especially as they lost their last home game 5-2 to Nottingham Forest.
Even Sunderland haven’t conceded five goals in a home game – up to now – so the Rangers’ defenders can’t exactly be full of confidence.
Sunderland must get at least one win out of the next two games and even then it is not guaranteed to get us out of the bottom three, but anything less makes relegation that much closer.