The games continue to come thick and fast in this gruelling, relentless division, as Sunderland prepare for the visit of Norwich City tonight, followed by Reading away on Saturday.
Norwich are a club sitting in mid-table, they can’t go up, can’t go down, and usually that is the sort of team you want to be playing, but with Sunderland’s atrocious home form, even a team with little to play for will fancy their chances of leaving with three points.
Twelve home defeats already is nothing sort of abysmal and though there are many reasons for Sunderland’s decline, bad home form has to be the biggest reason why.
Yes, Sunderland were unlucky in their last home game against Sheffield Wednesday and a blatantly wrong penalty call could have turned the game Sunderland’s way, but you can’t make bad luck a reason for the other 11 home defeats.
Norwich will be well aware of all of this and will know all they have to do is sit back and wait for the inevitable implosion that Sunderland specialise in at home.
Norwich are a club Sunderland have had good relations with over the years, the Friendly Cup was born out of that relationship but friendly is a word I don’t want to see from Sunderland tonight.
They have been far too friendly, accommodating and down right generous to opponents at home so far, so give me aggression, fight and attitude – anything really that makes it difficult for the Canaries.
Following on from the Norwich game is another fixture against a team who haven’t exactly set the division alight, Reading, who aren’t that far ahead of us in the table.
The home game with Reading, unsurprisingly, ended in defeat with the key incident in the game being Callum McManaman’s ‘goal’ when it looked like he could have scored with any part of his body, but chose his hand which led to his dismissal and Sunderland, down to ten men, collapsed.
The sight of Vito Mannone between the posts for Reading will be bittersweet as Vito was always popular with the crowd and should never have been allowed to leave.
During the summer the goalkeeping position was probably the only position Sunderland were strong in, so strong we could let Jordan Pickford go while picking up £30million and still feel we had a more than adequate last line of defence.
However, Sunderland had a great idea to get rid of both keepers and the rest, as they say, is history.
So, two games coming up that even if Sunderland get six points from might not be enough, such is the desperate position Sunderland find themselves in.