HAPPY Easter?– hardly.
Just one point taken from six for Sunderland, few chances created, no goals scored and a drop back into the bottom half of the table was not what anyone wanted over the Bank Holidays.
And it sets up a real challenge between now and the end of the season to ensure the momentum generated since Martin O’Neill’s arrival is not allowed to slip away.
The game against Spurs was not really a disappointment, but, taken in conjunction with the Everton game coming straight afterwards, it was.
With one point from the last six, two from the last nine, Sunderland have fallen away from the position of strength they found themselves in only a couple of weeks ago.
The Spurs game itself did not live up to the billing given to it in this column last week.
The fixture is usually an attractive one with plenty of goals, incident and attractive football, but it did not work out that way at the weekend.
I actually thought the game was not as bad as many people seemed to think. I thought there were a lot of good things to be taken from Sunderland’s performance and from individuals like Matt Kilgallon and my man of the match, Jack Colback.
As a game against a team in a Champions League position heading into the final few games of the season, it could not be seen as anything other than a good point.
Sunderland set up to contain Spurs and succeeded. It was a game where two teams pretty much cancelled each other out.
It doesn’t happen that often. In fact, it was the first 0-0 draw under Martin O’Neill.
But when it does happen, you take your point and move on.
And the game against Everton was always going to put the two games into context.
As it was, Sunderland produced – surprise, surprise – yet another poor performance at Goodison Park and the 4-0 defeat equalled the worst result under the new manager.
Now the fight is on to ensure Sunderland’s season doesn’t fizzle out altogether.
We’ve seen how easy it is for teams to very quickly hit a bad set of results – Liverpool, Aston Villa and Wolves have all demonstrated that. Things can very quickly turn sour.
And that is why the visit of Wolves on Saturday is actually a big one for Sunderland in the context of their season.
Read more of Gary Rowell’s thoughts in today’s Echo.