Saturday’s game against Wimbledon wasn’t pretty, nor was it entertaining, but thanks to Aiden McGeady, a below par Sunderland just about did enough to get three points in a game they simply had to win.
There has been too many draws lately - and all season - but if Sunderland had only drawn on Saturday, it would have been easily the most damaging draw of them all.
So a slender one-goal victory might not have impressed many neutrals but I think every single Sunderland fan will know the huge importance of the victory and be breathing a sigh of relief.
When a team is not firing, you have got to go back-to-basics, be organised, work even harder and do not concede. And just hope that somebody in an out-of-sorts team can come up with a moment of inspiration.
That script was followed to the letter, with Aiden McGeady the man to provide that inspiration and be the difference between a demoralising goalless draw that would have massively shaken both the fans and players’ belief and a hugely-important win that gets things back on track, though still, as we all know, with plenty of work to do.
I would like to be top but I am not unhappy with Sunderland’s current position, fourth with games in hand, but we have rarely hit top gear this season and I am convinced that there is more to come.
The squad is strong, with some players better than League One level and there is no question about their attitude so they need to be winning Saturday sort of games more convincingly and definitely improving their one-goal-per-game run that they are currently on.
The clean sheet was great to see. No one should ever underestimate the confidence that gives to keepers and defenders, Grant Leadbitter got an assist on his return, Morgan looked promising and McGeady’s goal was the type only certain players in this league can score.
However, Sunderland did make hard work of it - but after three consecutive draws - they managed the all-important victory.