Sunderland take you to sweet shop window but never inside '“ this time though, we might actually taste victory
In the Wise Men Say column leading up to the Preston game, I was questioning whether or not we had truly hit rock bottom.
The miserable hammering away to Ipswich and the games leading up to it were so bad, that I was fearful things would get even worse before they got better.
It would be far too bold to claim that we totally turned things around at Deepdale but it was certainly an improvement on the proceeding weeks, with The Lads looking committed, composed and clinical when going forward.
It’s enough to make me look forward to tomorrow’s game against QPR, if nothing else.
Isn’t that just exactly what Sunderland are about though? They drag you down, beat you up and then tantalise you with how good things could be. That tantalising isn’t done by winning either, it’s done by just missing out and making you think “well maybe we aren’t so bad after all, we can turn this around.”
They take you to the sweet shop window but never take you inside, letting you see what you could have but never actually giving it to you.
So you would think I would be prepared to be brought back down to earth when Ian Holloway and his West London mob travel up on Saturday, right?
Wrong! Aiden McGeady is back and tore Preston apart last time out, QPR haven’t got a chance. Duncan Watmore will make another explosive appearance and he’ll leave Nedum Onouha & Co bamboozled.
I don’t care if our defence haven’t kept a clean sheet all season, they actually looked formidable a couple of weeks ago and I’m not scared of Matt Smith and Jamie Mackie.
OK, maybe I don’t feel quite as confident as that but if we can’t get that elusive home win on Saturday, you do wonder if we ever will.
QPR are 16th in the table, only six points better off than us and haven’t won on the road all season.
I know, that’s all the information you need to put your mortgage on the visitors coming away from the Stadium of Light with all three points, but I’m grasping tightly at the straws that were the Preston game. Surely we can put an end to this wretched record?
So let’s forget the fact that we haven’t won at home in almost a year. Who cares if the striker most likely to lead the line for us only has one goal to his name. Don’t tell me our goalkeepers still haven’t played convincingly all season.
I don’t want to hear that the only reason we aren’t bottom of the table is because the one club beneath us can barely afford to pay their players.
This is for our future selves to worry about, let them deal with the potential disappointment if and when it arrives.
For now, we have reasons to suggest we might actually win a game of football! At home! Drink it in.