We often discuss the idea that players need to shake off that losing mentality, but leading up to the Norwich game that familiar feeling sat uncomfortably in the pit of my stomach too.
When Lewis Grabban nodded in his second I was wondering what I was worried about.
The appointment of Simon Grayson looks an increasingly shrewd move. I’m sure that Daniel Farke is a very talented coach with excellent ideas and he’ll get Norwich going down the line. However, Sunderland needed to go back to
basics. They needed someone that knows the division and what is required to win football matches.
In Grayson, Sunderland might just have it.
It’s early days for this newly acquainted group of players, but early signs are excellent. Whilst Norwich dominated the ball they rarely threatened after a bright 25 minutes. They adopted a slow build up, but lacked the thrust going forward to make that possession worth anything more than numbers on paper.
Sunderland looked far more streetwise than their opponents, quashing any semblance of danger and almost controlling proceedings without even having the ball.
James Vaughan might lack quality with the ball at his feet, but he does the donkey work so that others may prosper. Lewis Grabban capitalised on a Vaughan flick for his first, before burying an outstanding McGeady delivery for his second and Sunderland’s third.
McGeady once again showed his potency at this level. It’s clear you can’t afford time and space to him. Before delivering expertly for his compatriot to put the game out of reach, he slammed one into the roof of the net to double our advantage.
He’s got that little bit of something that will win us games this season. However, if we want to challenge for promotion we’ll definitely need more of that.
Sunderland kept it simple, stayed in the game and then capitalised on any small lapse in the Norwich side.
If Grayson can bring some more quality to the team then that combined with out opponent’s propensity to make mistakes could be our golden ticket.
For the last few years we’ve been staying in the game with the hope we might nick something and get a result. In the Championship staying in a game means if we can get a goal it becomes an opportunity to assert dominance and put our
foot on the opposition’s throat.
I had little or no expectations going into this season, but from the very little I’ve seen so far it tells me there’s not a lot to be afraid of.
We might even be a bit better than we think we are as it stands.
With three weeks to go in the summer transfer window, Grayson should be trusted to bring the three or four players in we need to make us genuine contenders for a swift top-flight return.
If Ellis can find his cheque book we could be smiling more often than not in the coming months and even more so in May.