Wise Men Say: Now's the time for Sunderland to get elusive back-to-back victories
Recent history has taught Sunderland fans not to get carried away after a victory.
It sums up our current joyless existence that three points we have craved so much has not been a platform for further success, it has not been the catalyst to put a run together, it has not been the herald of good times.
Saturday’s win against Hull City contained plenty to be impressed by, but the fact remains we have not won two league games in a row for more than a year. So while one part of me thinks we should be doing congas over the Wearmouth Bridge, the other part is thinking that we are some way away from getting ourselves out of this mess.
Much has been made of the performance put in by our younger players, Joel Asoro, Josh Maja and Ethan Robson emerging with plenty of credit – but this was against a quite terrible Hull City side.
The Tigers’ midfield was especially poor, allowing Robson, Lee Cattermole and George Honeyman time and space to impress. For Cattermole, it was a long-awaited return to form; Robson broke up play well and kept it tidy, while Honeyman’s energy was a real positive.
Maja and Asoro were up against a creaking Hull defence featuring Michael Dawson, whose best days are long gone and who was never known for his pace in the first place. But they were a constant threat, linking up well, and were brimming with confidence – not something we have seen much of over the last 18 months.
Rather than assessing individual performances, the most heartening aspect of Saturday’s win was the team effort as a whole.
The make-up of Chris Coleman’s starting XI took on a lads and dads theme, with Cattermole, John O’Shea and Bryan Oviedo marshalling the younger, less experienced players.
But they worked together as a unit, fought for every ball, chased every lost cause and threw themselves into every challenge.
O’Shea and Cattermole were Coleman’s lieutenants on the pitch - forget talk of a rotten core, they have years of experience to pass on to the younger players who are still finding their feet in the game.
At the end of a week where the focus was on a player that did not want to be here, we at least had a performance from a team where every single individual fought for that red and white shirt.
There will be few worse teams to visit Wearside this season than Hull City, and victory should not paper over the cracks. This is a squad woefully short on quality and new signings are essential.
Coleman needs the backing of the board in this transfer window to bring in experienced players who know how to get teams out of trouble, because as much as there was to be enthused by on Saturday, this is a club rapidly approaching crisis point.
A win at Birmingham City in a week’s time will allay those fears – let’s just hope there’s some fresh blood in the side by then.