Wise Men Say: Worrying failure to take chances haunts Black Cats

I find myself unable to shrug off a cloud of frustration that has settled upon me.

Monday, 4th April 2016, 6:00 pm

It is not always easy to remain optimistic as a Sunderland fan.

In fact, many is the time that I have found myself surrounded by numerous gentlemen at the Stadium of Light, who appear to have given up on hope and seem determined to just have a damned good moan for the full 90 minutes.

Some of them even manage to add in a pre- and post-match whinge, and if you are really blessed a half-time twist next to you while you’re trying to enjoy a pint.

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I’ve said before that I like, when possible, to be a pint-half-full bloke (and, no, I’m not still referring to half-time).

I may let the odd groan or shout slip out every now and again, but, on the whole, I’m there to cheer on lads for better for worse.

You pay your money and you’re entitled to your say, so I’m not trying to tell anyone how to support their team.

But, personally, if I wanted to have a good moan then I’d probably stay at home for one, I’m sure both the wife and the greyhound would be delighted.

Still, like I say it’s not always easy to be positive as a Sunderland fan – the game at the weekend being a prime example.

It wasn’t that the lads player that badly.

For me, they were certainly the better of the two sides, although West Brom, having come for nothing more than a point, will say it was a job well done for them.

For the Black Cats, it could be two vital points dropped.

I’m not really a religious man, but right up until the final whistle on Saturday I was praying that we would stick one chance away.

Perhaps I should have been more specific, as when we did find the net it was ruled out for offside.

Our failure to take our chances was not only frustrating, but also very worrying.

Given our current plight, I’m not sure we can keep passing up opportunities and still hope that we are going to be all right.

One game will probably not seal our fate, but, at the same time, I can’t help but worry that, sooner or later, one miss too many will consign us to the dreaded drop.

Of course, there’s still time to turn things around (I hope), and it might be more of a concern were we not creating any chances rather than failing to finish them.

I came away from the game on Saturday feeling in something of a funk, and it hasn’t lifted yet.

By the time the game with Leicester City comes around this weekend, I will once again be a believer that my team can turn it around.

You have to, really, don’t you?

I mean what else can you do – sit at home and have a good moan? Not likely.

*The Wise Men Say podcast is available from every Monday, with SAFC debate from a variety of guests and post-match reaction. You can stream it direct from wisemensay.co.uk or subscribe to it on iTunes