Sunderland must not bring in bodies just for the sake of it
After last weekend's victory over Hull, attentions turn to the trip to Birmingham tomorrow and beyond that, a run of fixtures that on paper represent a good opportunity to pick up some more vital points.
The game at St Andrews is the classic six-pointer; if Sunderland can pick up three points against a real relegation rival, it could provide such a boost going into three home games in February.
We also, of course, have the closure of the transfer window this week, and it remains to be seen whether Chris Coleman can make any further additions to his squad.
You have to think, or perhaps hope, that Sunderland can beat Birmingham. While I feel it is certainly a must-not-lose game, the enthusiasm and at times quality that we saw last week could be enough to make the difference.
The confidence of the young lads will be sky high, particularly that of Joel Asoro and Josh Maja, and while confidence and enthusiasm will only take us so far, hopefully we can ride the wave of it for a while yet.
The front two link up so well and it is important to play them together as much as possible. Asoro and Maja perhaps have shown the benefit playing together for the U23s, rather than being sent out on loan to separate clubs.
Yes, a spell in the lower leagues may have “toughened them up” physically, but by keeping them at the club they have worked on their understanding, something which has been evident in the times they have featured for the first team.
Moving forward, with regards to incoming transfers, I feel it is important that Sunderland don’t fall into the trap of purely bringing in bodies for the sake of it.
We all know how thin the resources are and good luck to anyone that does come in, but even in desperate times it is still important to bring in the right sort of player.
Of course, we ideally need a striker, perhaps even two, and fingers crossed Coleman will manage to make a further transfer breakthrough before Wednesday.
I have previously mentioned how I think we need a new goalkeeper and despite a decent performance from Robbin Ruiter against Hull, this in my opinion is still the case.
With Jonny Williams coming back and the recent emergence of Ethan Robson, we are reasonably covered in midfield and the back five continue to look reasonably solid, so these departments aren’t a pressing concern.
After Birmingham, the next five games for Sunderland include Ipswich, Brentford and Middlesbrough at home, as well as Bolton away. That run of fixtures is one that Coleman and his team will surely be eyeing as a great opportunity to go on a bit of a run.
Some additions, the right additions, are important, but we have given ourselves (again) something to build on with last week’s victory – it was the most I have enjoyed a game at the Stadium of Light in a long time.
Let’s hope that we can actually build on it, and with a few positive results, we have a great chance of being OK.