Rowell Report: In Ball we trust

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
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KEVIN Ball did the job asked of him when he steered Sunderland through to the last 16 of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.

Sunderland are lucky to have a character like Bally around the place, especially at a time like this when there is so much uncertainty and confusion.

Unlike the game against the MK Dons in the last round, Sunderland beat Peterborough United comfortably and. although it wasn’t spectacular, I never felt at any time that we would lose.

It was so important that Sunderland won for so many reasons, and not just for the chance of progressing in a major cup competition.

In my opinion, just as important was the fact that a win will boost team spirit and morale and also keep the national media off our backs for a while, as they were sniffing blood after Paolo Di Canio’s sacking.

Getting knocked out to a lower division side would have seen ever more negative headlines and that’s the last thing we need as our club tries to get back on an even keel.

Bally is a safe pair of hands and the fans trust him to get on with the job and he’s bought Sunderland some time as the club search for Di Canio’s successor.

But what if he leads the team to an unexpected victory over Liverpool? Will he be in the frame for the job himself?

Progress in the cup and three points on Sunday would be the perfect start for Kevin and if that happens his stock with Sunderland fans would be even higher.