Welsh dragon has already breathed fire back into Sunderland
Boy, that felt good. Sixteen matches, three months and a whole lot of heartache but finally
Sunderland are back to winning ways.
This is what we thought life back in the Championship would be like. Grinding out hard fought victories in terrible conditions, dancing around freezing cold terraces as we swat aside one of the league’s struggling sides.
We thought we would have a squad that would be united both on and off the field, one that we could be proud of once again and Chris Coleman could be the person to create that.
From the moment the Welshman strode through the doors at the Academy of Light, he has exuded a confidence – an almost positive arrogance – that has been severely lacking at the club in recent years.
He’s held up a mirror to the players and the supporters and constantly repeated the message – “We are Sunderland, we are one of the biggest clubs in the land”.
Where predecessors have talked us down, labelled us as “unmanageable” and failed to grasp what this club is about, Coleman is making us stick our chests out and hold our heads high.
It is that mentality which is going to make players run those extra yards, concentrate to the very last moment and give a fanbase something to cling on to.
For the first time in what seems an eternity, there is hope that the malaise could be lifting. There is that glimmer of light through the thick grey clouds that have engulfed the Stadium of Light.
The club has a manager that is heavily invested in the job in hand, there have been no excuses or bemoaning of the current situation, just a positive attitude and willingness to put every ounce he has into dragging up the table.
It may feel a little premature to start heralding the Coleman Revolution after one win over an admittedly poor Burton Albion side but these moments could be the catalyst for something much more tangible.
The players seemed focused, had a real desire to win the game and not make the same silly mistakes that have cost us dear in recent weeks.
There looked to be a togetherness, demonstrated by the wild celebrations that accompanied both goals. There was a willingness to reconnect with a fanbase that was close to giving up on them and the real hope is that is the turning point every supporter has been searching for.
Coleman has already stated his desire to be the person to get it right at Sunderland and if the win at Burton, combined with the spirited performance in defeat at Aston Villa, can be the starting point then he could be cementing his status among Sunderland folklore.
In just a few short days he has brought the fire and team spirit so evident in his Wales teams to Wearside. It has rekindled a sense that anything is possible and is going a long way to healing the wounds that have opened to chasm-like level in the past. Long may it continue.
It’s amazing what a win does.