Sunderland climbed off the bottom of the Championship with the 1-0 win over Hull City.
Here’s what we learned from the victory at the Stadium of Light.
Clean sheets are key.
Sunderland failed to keep a clean sheet in the first 17 games of the season. Since Chris Coleman’s arrival they have managed five in 11 games.
That is a huge improvement and will be key if Sunderland are to avoid a second successive relegation.
Under Coleman Sunderland have been beaten heavily by Sheffield United and Cardiff City but those two games aside they have been much harder to beat.
Jake Clarke-Salter looks a class act.
His debut at Cardiff City won’t live long in the memory but he will remember his first appearance at the Stadium of Light.
Clarke-Salter was excellent alongside John O’Shea and Tyias Browning. Vocal, calm on the ball, displayed good awareness, the Chelsea defender reads the game well and was quick to snuff out a couple of Hull attacks.
Early days but he looks a good signing.
Coleman’s faith in youth rewarded.
Sunderland named six players aged 23 or under against Hull City, with teenage duo Joel Asoro and Josh Maja leading the attack.
They repaid the faith shown in them by Coleman, who deserves credit for his approach.
Maja and Asoro will grab the headlines but academy product Ethan Robson also produced an assured display alongside Lee Cattermole.
Back-to-back wins next challenge.
Sunderland are yet to manage back-to-back wins this season. It is imperative they build on this crucial win over Hull City when they return to action against Birmingham City a week Tuesday.
Sunderland climbed off the bottom of the Championship but remain in the bottom three, they need to string together results.
Chris Coleman not getting carried away.
Sunderland showed great resolve, desire, togetherness and more attacking intent against fellow strugglers Hull.
It was a world away from the flat, dire display against Cardiff City seven days prior.
Coleman was delighted with his side but he isn’t getting carried away.
The message to his players was clear, the benchmark has been set and they need to produce this level every week.
Sunderland still desperate for reinforcements.
The clock is ticking with the January transfer window due to close at 11pm a week on Wednesday.
This was an important victory and there were some big performances but the need for fresh blood remains.
Sunderland are still two strikers short while they also need a holding midfielder and a creative player to add to their ranks.
Callum McManaman and Aiden McGeady were on the bench against Hull and neither has really shone under Coleman.