Why victory over Fulham was one of the most significant in Sunderland’s recent history

Sunderland players celebrate victory
Sunderland players celebrate victory
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We all know Sunderland’s home win over Fulham was a long time coming – so long that I don’t think it is possible we’ll have a more important victory this season.

Young Josh Maja’s first goal for the club hopefully will be the first of many but no matter how many more he scores he will always know his first one was so important and ended a sequence of results that was becoming an embarrassment.

Hopefully now we can all go to the matches with optimism instead of fearing the worst and have genuine hope for the future now that the jinx or hoodoo – or whatever you want to call 364 days without a home win – has finally been broken.

One home win, no matter how badly we needed it, doesn’t suddenly make everything right of course.

But the building blocks are there courtesy of another clean sheet and Chris Coleman, I am certain, will be drumming into his players that unless they follow it up with another win against Birmingham City at the Stadium of Light on Saturday then all the hard work they put into the Fulham victory will have been wasted.

There was a lot of effort and sweat that went into beating Fulham.

We didn’t win because we were miles better than the Londoners and at half-time I thought the first 45 minutes was underwhelming with few chances and little excitement.

However, that means nothing now because, while I like to be entertained, I like seeing my team win more and after Sunderland’s barren spell any kind of 1-0 victory was always going to be more than acceptable.

Time was running out when Coleman gambled with the two teenagers – it would have been easy to go for experience or just throw one on but he went for broke and it paid off spectacularly.

For Sunderland fans who love their club – and I am one of them – 2017 has been horrendous.

A relegation where we didn’t put up much of a fight and home performances and results so bad that they have driven many fans away.

That is why three points against a mid-table Championship team could be one of the most significant wins in the club’s recent history.

l I’d just like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – I’ll be back with my column on January 9