Sunderland’s great win at Bournemouth might not have been enough to get us off the foot of the table but it gave us three points and so much more.
The Black Cats torrid start to season was taking its toll on everyone – the fans were losing patience the players looked as though they were losing belief and all of this was putting huge pressure on David Moyes.
Considering all that, to go to Bournemouth and leave with a victory, especially as most of the second half was spent played with 10 men was a minor miracle.
When Steven Pienaar was given his marching orders that should have been it – the Cherries would surely go on to win with the only doubt being by how many?
But there was to be a huge twist in the tale and, for once, it went our way.
Sunderland didn’t just hang on for a point (I’d have taken that), they won a penalty, scored it and showed bags of effort, character and desire to hang on to that lead which has delighted the fans more than anything.
Maybe their midweek trip to Nissan had the desired effect, there is nothing like seeing what a real job is like, to appreciate a lifestyle a footballer enjoys. But whatever the reason, every single Sunderland player showed how much it meant to them and that’s all any fan wants to see.
To beat a team like Bournemouth, who keep possession so well, while playing a huge amount of time with a man less takes guts, but it is a great feeling in the dressing room afterwards and pulls everyone together.
The only disappointment of the day was the early home goal by Dan Gosling because it meant Jordan Pickford didn’t keep a clean sheet when he deserved one, but he’ll be happy with his first Sunderland win in the Premier League and that’s more important.
A number of Sunderland players had their best games of the season but I’d like to single out Papy Djilobodji who has come in for plenty of criticism since he was signed in the summer.
On Saturday, he was defensively sound and disciplined, and hopefully we can now see the best of him.
The win on Saturday hasn’t suddenly made everything right but there is light at the end of the tunnel for David Moyes who now has a platform to get Sunderland moving upwards and out of the drop zone.