With two home games in four days against Liverpool and Aston Villa, Sunderland can’t afford to waste this opportunity to pick up points.
Four points out of the six available wouldn’t be a bad return, but both games should be viewed as winnable – starting with tomorrow night’s clash against Liverpool.
This is not a vintage Liverpool team. Far from it. I saw their last two away games at Newcastle and Watford and both were poor performances which ended in defeat.
If they turn up at the Stadium of Light in that form, I’ll be happy.
Like ourselves, Liverpool felt a change of manager was necessary when things weren’t working out with Brendan Rodgers – leading to the arrival of Jurgen Klopp.
But despite their good win over Leicester, Liverpool are far from the finished article.
They have only scored two more goals than Sunderland this season and while a club like Liverpool with their history should always be respected, Sam Allardyce’s players should go into this game feeling they can cause an upset.
The fixture with Aston Villa a few days later is even bigger than the Liverpool one and of the two, that’s the game where failure won’t be acceptable. Sunderland have to win.
Villa have left Wearside with three points from both of their last two visits, with last season’s humiliating 4-0 defeat being as bad as it gets.
Gus Poyet looked shell-shocked in his technical area, unable to do anything, as Villa went four up before half-time and it was no surprise when shortly after, his spell as Sunderland boss was brought to an end.
The sight of thousands of Sunderland fans streaming over the bridge to go into town for a pint, rather than watch the second half, said it all.
But who could blame them after watching their team capitulate so badly?
Sunderland’s players should now have plenty of motivation to avenge that embarrassing defeat.
And along with the Liverpool game, they’ve got to make these two consecutive home fixtures count if they’re to survive.