Both Sunderland and Aston Villa had great (almost identical) wins against League Two opposition in midweek cup games, with strikers from each club claiming hat tricks.
So from the off, Saturday’s game was never going to be a 0-0 affair.
When Yann M’Vila bent that 25-yard free kick around the Villa defence, I allowed myself to go to my happy place.
However three minutes later Mr. Cattermole brought me back to the reality that is, just being a Sunderland fan is never quite that simple.
Things got a bit desperate, but we managed to keep within one goal at the half time break.
As the second half started, I noticed two things; the lads were lifted by the substitutions, and Ola Toivonen has the look of a leader about him.
The Swede has known these players for a day, and yet he is telling them where to go, and where to make a pass.
He seemed to be everywhere before sliding Lens a slide rule pass for the equaliser.
He seems to be the kind of player that brings out the best in those around him, and maybe he will be Dick’s voice on the field?
You do not have to wonder if Dick’s new signings will be beneficial to us.
With Lens, M’Vila and Toivonen all having an immediate positive effect, this is a welcome change from our ventures in previous windows.
Quality not quantity!
It is easy to see why Dick Advocaat is such a good coach.
He sees where we are/were lacking, and brings in quality players to strengthen where we need it most.