AROUND this time last year, Sunderland weren’t too far off the position they are in now.
Scoring only five goals in the previous 10 away fixtures and in the bottom three of the table there was all to play for when the Black Cats met with Fulham last January.
The Cottagers weren’t too dissimilar to Sunderland at that point, being only two points ahead on 19 and having an equally tough start to the season.
Sunderland won 1-4 with a goal coming from Ki Sung-Yueng and a hat-trick from Adam Johnson boosting Sunderland out of the relegation zone, Fulham being one of the teams that subsequently got relegated.
With the next meeting with Fulham tomorrow in the fourth round of the FA Cup, Sunderland are again in the bottom half of the table and only one point above the relegation zone with the second worst scoring record in the league with only 19 goals in 22 games.
But with a strong defensive season and a new signing in Jermain Defoe, a win tomorrow could boost the confidence of the team and set them on target for a promising run.
With that in mind we look at other past meetings that Sunderland have had with Fulham.
March 2, 2013
Sunderland were going through a goal drought at this stage of the season having not scored at home in a month and a half. Martin Jol’s side travelled up to the Stadium of Light coming off the back of a 1-0 win against Stoke. Dimitar Berbatov scored a penalty to make it 1-0 followed by Sascha Riether with a second. Sunderland managed to pull the game back with goals from Craig Gardner and Sessegnon and should have went on to win the game in a strong performance.
November 18, 2012
With Martin O’Neill in charge, pressure was mounting on Sunderland after just one goal in 18 games before this away fixture at Craven Cottage.
After a first half hour dominated mainly by Fulham, a clumsy tackle by Brede Hangeland on Lee Cattermole earned him a sending off and changed the game entirely.
Sunderland went on to win the game 1-3 with the first two goals coming from Fletcher and Cuellar. Stephan Sessegnon wrapped up the game and scored his first goal of the season hitting the target from 25-yards out.
April 8, 2006
After being promoted as Champions the previous season, Mick McCarthy was sacked in March after a dreadful run of games.
Kevin Ball took over as caretaker manager for a clash against Fulham at the Stadium of Light during a heavy snow-storm.
Brian McBride scored for the visiting team after 21 minutes and Sunderland hopes for the season once again diminished.
The game was abandoned by referee Mike Riley due to weather.
Luckily the Black Cats went on to win the rematch the following month and avoided becoming the first-ever club to go through a full season without winning a home game.
The season did not end well overall with finishing on a record low of 15 points and being relegated into the Championship.