Sunderland had better be careful. Sunderland are riding their luck.
Those are the stinging words that flowed from the mouth of the not bitter at all Derek Adams after our latest League One victory.
With winter around the corner, Devon Council might want to call on Adams in the event of a salt shortage because there was plenty on offer from the Plymouth manager on Saturday.
Maybe I’m being paranoid, but it feels as though Sunderland have received minimal praise or credit for their efforts this season.
The supporters, the local press and the city seem to be riding the crest of the wave. Everyone is smiling. Everyone is happy. We’re winning and we’re enjoying it.
However, it feels that in some ways we can’t win.
We’re expected to win every game and we’re expected to win the league by a mammoth margin. We’ve got the biggest budget, the most quality, the best players, the best goalkeeper etc.
All of a sudden these appear to be bad things according to some onlookers from outside our bubble.
Having spent the last five seasons getting hammered on the pitch, it was accompanied by pundits and supporters of other clubs hammering us off the pitch. Our fans have been criticised in some quarters too.
At the moment, I’m quite enjoying being slagged off for being too good.
We have the best defence in the league, the best goal difference in the league, we’ve lost one game all season and we’re second with a game in hand on the leaders.
We’ve won our last five and we’ve four clean sheets on the bounce. Before those four clean sheets, our defence was being criticised in spite of being one of the best in the division.
Short of winning 5-0 every single week, I’m not really sure what else we can do. If we did that we’d probably be accused of being too arrogant.
When Jack Ross arrived in the summer, shortly after our new ownership, we had a massive job on our hands. There’s been cost cutting off the pitch and the manager has had to assemble an entirely new squad on a starkly modest budget by our standards.
We were a Premier League club less than two years ago.
Last summer, with an almost entirely brand new set up, we had to get it right. Failure in League One would see us roundly ridiculed, even further in some cases, and a further blow to the confidence of an incredibly low fan base.
Jack Ross has put together a team that are paying for the shirt, a team that is playing for us. I’m sure what people are saying won’t affect those involved in the slightest.
At the same time, they deserve a huge amount of credit for what they’ve achieved in such a short space of time.
On what I’ve seen so far, we’ll be ‘riding our luck’ out of this division at a first attempt.