Wise Men Say: Peterborough United defeat must be a blip and no more for Sunderland

Sunderland’s trip to Peterborough United could not have gone much worse.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 5:00 pm

In fact, the only thing that would have compounded the sorry affair would have been if the fixture was scheduled a week earlier when the East Coast Mainline, on which the Black Cats travelled south at the weekend, was in complete turmoil with cancellations across the board.

Maybe it would have been for the best had they not travelled.

Marc McNulty in action against Peterborough United.

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Instead, they returned to the North-East with zero points, a three-goal hit to the goal difference, their first defeat of the campaign and without two players going into their next game a whole two weeks away following the postponement of the Burton fixture next week.

Many associated with the club put it down to a bad day at the office. Had anyone else had such a bad day in their job they might well have been fired for it. Luckily, this is football, and this is Sunderland. If we’re expecting not to have days like this, then we’re in the wrong place.

We just need to put this down to exactly what it is. Not a portent of things to come, not a wake-up call, not a disaster by any stretch of the imagination. We have experienced enough of the bad days in the last three years to be able to shake this one off as a blip. We simply mustn’t let it be any more than that.

That’s not to say fans can’t be furious with it. Especially those who made the trip down to London Road, to a town that has little going for it except the railway out of it. The performance across the pitch was a marked contrast to earlier in the week at Burnley, and goes to show how quick things can change.

One day you’re cock of the walk, next you’re a feather duster.

Let’s focus on the positives though. Luke O’Nien has seen his red card for man-handling Ivan Toney rescinded, owing to Toney’s ridiculous reaction to what was simply a competitive tussle on the touchline.

We have strength in depth to cope with the loss of Charlie Wyke for a game, while we have two weeks to reflect and react to the defeat, to learn from it and to work on making sure this is a one-off.

Viewed in isolation, a 3-0 reverse at Peterborough is disappointing enough.

However, in the context of the season, it has brought to an end a five match cup and league winning run. If Sunderland can kick off another run from here, this will indeed be a blip, a one-off, and won’t matter too much in the scheme of things.

Conversely, if we don’t win another game for a month, this would be the defeat that kicked all that off.

The key for the players is reacting well. And for us, it’s about keeping things in perspective. We have had darker days as Sunderland fans, after all.