Six things: Superb Sunderland fans deserve an owner that cares as much as them

Have your say

It is surely now just a matter of time before League One football is confirmed for Sunderland next season.

It is going to take a minor miracle to overturn the seven point gap in the remaining five games following the 1-1 draw at Elland Road.

Lynden Gooch in action for Sunderland against Leeds United. Pictures by Frank Reid.

Lynden Gooch in action for Sunderland against Leeds United. Pictures by Frank Reid.

Here's what we learned from the game.

Where has this level of performance been all season?

Too little, far too late. Sunderland were superb against Derby County, unfortunate against Sheffield Wednesday and determined against Leeds United.

Finally, this Sunderland side has managed to string together a run of decent performances. But where has it been all season?

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman watches the game at Elland Road.

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman watches the game at Elland Road.

It has come far too late and with a points deficit surely too big to overturn. Sunderland are running out of games.

Sunderland’s faint survival hopes not helped by form of rivals.

Birmingham are now unbeaten in four, including a run of three straight victories, with Reading winning two out of their last three games. Barnsley have picked up four points from their last two games, while Burton Albion are showing some spirit after back-to-back draws.

Aside from Bolton, who are struggling with three straight defeats, Sunderland’s other relegation rivals all continue to pick up points, heaping further pressure on the Black Cats.

Sunderland's superb 2,000-strong away following at Elland Road.

Sunderland's superb 2,000-strong away following at Elland Road.

Even the most optimistic of Sunderland fan will know the writing is on the wall and the form of other teams at the ‘business end’ of the season is helping seal their fate.

Lynden Gooch has become the first name on the teamsheet.

The USA international was superb again.

Tenacious. Dogged. Determined. He was a real driving force behind Sunderland’s play at Leeds United, with a real flow to their attacking play.

Since going away and working on certain aspects of his game in terms of end product and decision making, Gooch has become a key player in this Sunderland side.

Marc Wilson impresses at left-back.

The ex-Stoke City and AFC Bournemouth defender has been a disappointment since signing last summer but he impressed at left-back against Leeds United.

With Bryan Oviedo injured, Coleman could have opted to play Adam Matthews at left-back in a flat back four but instead put his faith in Wilson.

And he was excellent. Sunderland’s defence looked well organised and dealt well with the Leeds attack. While Wilson offers little going forward, his experience at the back was important.

Important Sunderland go down fighting.

The Sunderland squad, at the very least, is showing signs they do at least care and are willing to fight for their Championship status, however unlikely that now is.

With just five games remaining, it is vital the side go down with a fight ahead of what is sure to be a defining summer, hopefully with new owners at the helm.

The players owe it to themselves and to the fans.

Sunderland fans a credit to the club.

Speaking of the fans, the Sunderland support was superb at Elland Road.

Backed by more than 2,000 fans, it was non-stop singing from the away end in the corner, with the players appreciating their efforts.

With Sunderland on the brink of successive relegations after arguably the worst season in the club’s history, with one of - if not the - worst team to play for the club, the level of support is astonishing.

It is a credit to the fans and hopefully better times are not too long in coming for the long-suffering support with new owners and a rebuild on and off the pitch.