Gary Rowell: Sunderland left us biting our nails against MK Dons - but I don't mind that
After the disappointing draw at Bolton that brought so much criticism, Sunderland had a lot to prove, not only to the fans but also to themselves in the two following games against Sheffield United in the cup and MK Dons in the league and I think it is fair to say results wise, they redeemed themselves.
The cup win against the Blades was a bonus but three points against MK Dons was vital and although the last 20 minutes seemed like an hour, they got the job done.
Those two wins have crucially got the fans back on side and as the cup draw paired Sunderland with another League One outfit in Oxford United, the double of Carabao Cup and promotion is back on track.
Okay, so Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal might be slight favourites over Sunderland for the cup but automatic promotion was - and still is - the main priority and that is looking far better after Saturday’s victory than it did following the Bolton fiasco.
The two outstanding moments from Sunderland’s last couple of games has to be Max Power’s two goals, they weren’t exactly tap-ins were they?
And after scoring his first at Bramall Lane, who could have possibly predicted an even better one just days later but I think he did it.
Sunderland played very well in the first half on Saturday and being two up at half-time - and it could have been more - I thought a comfortable victory was on the cards but that definitely wasn’t the case after the Dons halved their deficit.
Sunderland lost their grip on the game and had to grind out the win in the end but I don’t mind that.
If that is what it takes to get three points then that is fine by me but it would be nice not to be biting our nails for a change.