Sunderland got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon at the Stadium of Light - but they made hard work of it.
Here’s what we learned from the much-needed victory.
Luke O’Nien unfortunate to be dropped.
Arguably the best Sunderland player of recent weeks was dropped to the bench, Jack Ross keen to get Adam Matthews back in the team at right-back coupled with strong options in midfield meant O’Nien missed out.
He can count himself very unlucky but he helped bring fresh legs, drive and energy when he did come on, Sunderland scoring through Aiden McGeady two minutes later.
Skipper George Honeyman did well on his return but he knows he has O’Nien breathing down his neck.
Charlie Wyke a major disappointment.
The striker endured an afternoon to forget against AFC Wimbledon, whom he had a loan spell with earlier in his career.
Won little in the air, didn’t hold the ball up well enough and there was next to no goal threat.
Two knee injuries have meant Wyke has endured a stuttering start to his Sunderland career but with Josh Maja departing this was a chance to stamp his authority.
He didn’t take it.
Will Grigg return to training this week will be a major boost.
The £4million former Wigan Athletic striker joined Sunderland in a dramatic deadline day deal. He was unveiled to the Stadium of Light prior to kick-off but wasn’t involved as he makes his way back from an ankle injury.
Grigg is expected back in training this week and given Wyke’s struggles Ross will no doubt be looking to get him straight into this side.
Sunderland keep up the pace in League One
With Barnsley and Luton Town winning again it was imperative Sunderland got the three points - and they had to work hard for them.
AFC Wimbledon prop up the division but there was little to separate the two sides for a good hour, the visitors arguably having the better openings.
Will Nightingale blazed over the crossbar from just six-yards.
Portsmouth and Charlton dropped points, so Sunderland climbed into fourth with three games in hand over the league leaders.
Moment of magic from Aiden McGeady wins it
As the clock ticked down it was becoming increasingly clear it was going to take a moment of inspiration from somewhere to win it.
Step forward McGeady. He wasn’t enjoying the best of afternoons, with Wyke offering little movement in the box he didn’t have much to aim at.
He took matters into his own hands with a stunning finish in the 67th minute. Worthy of winning any game.
Lewis Morgan the pick of the new signings
Morgan was a late call-up from the bench after Lynden Gooch withdrew from the team an hour before kick-off due to family reasons.
Morgan was a bright spark for Sunderland, in the first half twice showing why Ross wanted to bring him to Wearside with two dangerous runs down the wing.
Good with both feet, he gave the Dons full-back a difficult afternoon. A very promising debut.