Gary Rowell column - Lightning must strike twice for Sunderland at Everton

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku
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WHEN LOOKING back at last season’s Great Escape, most of the attention is given to the wins at the end of the campaign, but one every bit as important – if not more so – was the Boxing Day victory at Everton.

Sunderland were in a desperate position, but those three points at Goodison Park gave a bit of belief to our players and fans that things could get better.

For so long, Goodison was a graveyard for Sunderland and Everton a real bogey team

We travel to Everton again this weekend, and nothing much has changed since our last visit – still in serious trouble, but with far fewer games left to put things right this time.

Despite their defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday, Everton have had a late season revival and their 3-0 demolition of Manchester United in the last home game showed what they are capable of when they hit form.

Everton’s record signing, Romelu Lukaku, has scored 19 goals in all competitions all season and he along with Ross Barkley will be the danger for Sunderland on Saturday.

How Sunderland deal with those two could well decide the outcome.

For so long, Goodison was a graveyard for Sunderland and Everton a real bogey team.

I’ve been relegated there and left the place so many times having witnessed a Sunderland defeat which almost became routine.

However, Sunderland’s spirited victory against Southampton has given everyone a lift and going into any game on the back of a win is always good for confidence and morale.

Sunderland must go to Goodison with belief that they can cause an upset and repeat the shock win from last season there.