ROWELL: Such a vital win for Sunderland

Derby match-winner Fabio Borini celebrates
Derby match-winner Fabio Borini celebrates
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THAT’S two unforgettable derby wins in a row now, and it’s difficult to determine which one was the most important.

Last season’s win was probably the key to keeping us up and Sunday’s victory might be just as significant.

Losing on Sunday didn’t bear thinking about as it could well have signalled the end of our season, even at this early stage of the campaign.

Credit to the players, as they have come in for a lot of criticism, most of it justified.

But against Newcastle they had a job to do it and they did it magnificently.

Make no mistake, this game was all about handling the pressure and tension that comes with being bottom of the league and playing your deadliest rivals.

Yes we are still deep in trouble but now there’s light at the end of the long dark tunnel we were looking down and the whole club and fanbase is re-energised in a way that can only be achieved by a derby win.

After the horror show at Swansea, the players knew they had to make amends and they certainly did that with everybody playing their part.

And if there is one player I would have to pick out, it would be Jack Colback.

Restored to his natural position of central midfield, he was calm and composed in the heat of battle and rarely gave the ball away.

It looked like a coming of age performance from the young midfielder and he has set a standard now that he must maintain.

When the team was announced, there were a few surprises that some fans maybe didn’t see coming, giving a debut to Andrea Dossena, recalling Carlos Cuellar and dropping Emanuele Giaccherini.

But all Gus Poyet needs to do is point to the scoreline and all his decisions are vindicated.

His substitutions didn’t do too badly either and it is hard to think just how his first home game could have gone any better.

I was delighted to see Steven Fletcher and Jozy Altidore paired together.

It sent out a signal of intent from the start and I think it is a partnership that can develop and flourish in time.

We got the victory we desperately needed - our first of the season from nine attempts - but that solitary win was against Newcastle and that makes all the difference.

At last we’ve got a bit of momentum to our season.

We all went through an emotional wringer on Sunday but we came through in the end.

The team are back on side with the fans, confidence and belief have been regained but Sunday must not just be a one-off.

It has got to be just the start of better things to come.