WISE MEN SAY: Manchester United v Sunderland preview

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ALL Sunderland fans love to suggest that the Black Cats are masters at disappointing you when you expect them to please, and more than often than not, pleasing when you expect them to disappoint.

Therefore, it’s reassuringly calm on the anti-Poyet front this week despite failing to beat West Brom at home last Saturday.

In fact, I’m not sure I spoke to anyone prior to the game who didn’t think Tony Pulis’s side would snatch a point last Saturday.

Maybe, for that reason, people are more measured in their weekly summaries of the situation at the Stadium of Light.

Whether the gaffer’s open letter has afforded him some extra patience is certainly up for debate, as is whether the employment of a more orthodox 4-4-2 has finally satisfied the majority of those who have constantly asked for it.

Then there’s always the theory that apathy is starting to prevail and that’s never a good thing; though another 40,000+ gate suggests those claims could be exaggerated.

But getting back to my initial point, if ever there was a time for Sunderland to stay true to form and win one of these games they aren’t expected to – then tomorrow at Old Trafford would be as suitable as any.

It won’t have escaped everybody’s attention that a visit to Steve Bruce’s Hull City is around the corner, followed by a ridiculously important game at home to struggling Aston Villa.

I suspect Gus (and fans) would sincerely love to capture at least a point this weekend to take into those games.

And with the fond memories of Old Trafford last season still fresh, then why not go there and believe anything is possible?

I’ve had many visits to the so-called Theatre of Dreams ruined by good old hammerings in the last 20 years, meaning last season’s results there are incredibly special to me.

Being amongst the sea of red and white that celebrated Vito Mannone’s penalty save was unforgettable, but we can’t forget the win that relegated Cardiff and Fulham was just as important in the story of that breathtaking 2013/14 season.

I think when looking back on last season with the power of hindsight, it hazes the memory somewhat.

I remember the calls for a stable and unremarkable season from most fans, desperate to avoid the polarising patches of form the lads showed in the last campaign.

I think people will do well to remember that we’ve yet to reside in the bottom three this season, while we were there for the large part last year. It’s dull and I’m frustrated as anyone, but I’m can’t believe that changing a manager would be any more productive then allowing Gus to trying find a new system that’s inclusive of the proven goalscorer that is Jermain Defoe.

That said, going into the Villa game with it labelled some sort of “must win” is a terrifying thought and getting more points on the board will ultimately be what saves the manager.

Some say these games are like free passes, but I’m not sure there should be such a thing. Burnley were last weekend’s coupon-busters, let it be us tomorrow.

The Wise Men Say podcast is available from every Monday, with SAFC debate from a variety of guests and post-match reaction from Gus Poyet. You can be stream it direct from wisemensay.co.uk or subscribe to it on iTunes.