How a ‘crazy’ end to the season could end with Sunderland clinching automatic promotion - if Portsmouth and Barnsley do their bit

Wise Men Say
Wise Men Say
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It’s way out of our hands now, but I refuse to give up on automatic promotion.

Ahead of the trip to Fleetwood Town I’ve been thinking, stranger things have happened.

And with the ridiculous recent history of this football club, how can you rule it out?

Jack Ross takes his side to Fleetwood for the first time in Sunderland’s history, and nothing less than a win will do, obviously.

At the same time, Portsmouth face a Peterborough side who need something to keep their play-off hopes alive and, as a side Sunderland have failed to beat this season, this is not a nailed-on Portsmouth win.

So, a Sunderland win and a draw at Fratton Park sees the Lads move up into third place, three points behind Barnsley with a game to play.

Still with me?

We take it to the last day of the season, at the very least, and make sure we go to Southend on Saturday with something still to play for.

Barnsley face Bristol Rovers away on Saturday.

On paper, admittedly, this looks like a certain win for Barnsley.

It is however, the last day of the season, and on the last day of the season, really crazy things can happen...

Sunderland take an early lead at Southend, and with it we take another step to overturning the goal difference required, and the news filters through to the Barnsley fans and players.

It remains 0-0, Sunderland lead 2-0 at Southend at half-time.

The nerves are unbearable.

All Barnsley must do is not lose, but they do lose and Sunderland win and are promoted on goal difference. (Insert cool emoji here).

You probably think I’m being ridiculous, and to an extent I agree with you, as the chances seem pretty remote at best.

Thing is though, we aren’t really a normal football club.

We don’t really do things normally.

Remember in 1997 when we went down on the last day, despite having been in the relegation zone a grand total of once all season?

Win at Joey Barton’s Fleetwood and you’re hoping to overturn a three-point difference on the last day.

It is not impossible.

Taking it to the last day of the season brings with it the potential for chaos, a ridiculous day of twists and turns, in keeping with this bizarre season we have gone through.

Until it’s impossible, I won’t give up on that dream.

If there is something to cling on to, I will cling onto it.

If it’s the play-offs, then so be it.

But we aren’t there just yet.

The Fleetwood game will be tricky.

They’ve nothing to play for and no pressure on them.

But we should be confident of going there and getting a good win.

Three-one for me, leaving five goals to overturn on Saturday.

It can be done, I believe it.

Second on goal difference.

You heard it here first.