Pressure on Sunderland squad with doubts already raised ahead of Ipswich game
Sunderland travel to Ipswich this weekend for their first away game and this is one of the few fixtures in League One that has a bit of a big time feel about it.
Like Sunderland, it is not that long ago Ipswich were operating much higher up the football ladder and if you go back to the early 80s, they were one of the best teams in the country.
I have traveled a few times to Portman Road and usually returned empty handed as they weren’t just good in those days, under Bobby Robson they were a class act and probably should have won more than they did back then.
So both teams will feel they are a long way from past glories and if they are to get anywhere near back to where they should be, winning promotion this season would be a good first step.
The bookies made Sunderland and Ipswich their pre-season favourites to go up so come May, let’s hope they have made the right call but that just shows how big this game is on Saturday.
Even though it is so early in the campaign, this is the sort of fixture were a good result can set a marker down for the season and give a huge boost to the dressing room and the fanbase.
After Sunderland’s dismal draw against Oxford it is probably Sunderland who need that boost more than the Tractor Boys who got a really impressive win at Burton in their first game to get the season off to a flyer.
After relegation last season that win will do wonders for Ipswich’s confidence as any team that has just gone down needs to quickly shake off that losing mentality and Ipswich did just that.
However, it is Jack Ross’ men whose belief and confidence I am more concerned with, there’s only been one game played but already doubts are being raised so they need to be mentally right for one of the toughest games they will have all season.