Sunderland have picked up a head of steam and Lee Cattermole is the new Frank Lampard!
Sunderland have another busy eight days coming up, starting with a semi-final tonight then two even more important games against Wycombe and Barnsley, all of them away from home.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Jack Ross uses his squad fully tonight so it could be a chance for a couple of fringe players to get game time and a good performance from any player who hasn’t featured much up to now will only add to Ross’ options for the crucial last stretch of this season.
After Saturday’s win against Plymouth Argyle, Sunderland are starting to pick up a head of steam with three consecutive wins, made even better when the first two wins against Gillingham and Bristol Rovers came with our rivals dropping points.
However, that wasn’t the case last Saturday when everybody won.
Luton, Barnsley and Portsmouth all won convincingly, which made it even more important Sunderland picked up maximum points. We didn’t make up any ground on the top two but at least none was lost.
It is definitely becoming dog-eat-dog at the top now with – if you include Charlton – five teams chasing only two automatic promotion spots meaning three good teams missing out, so Sunderland have to be fearless and ruthless now to make sure they are not one of them.
Saturday’s game was never going to be a formality given Plymouth’s excellent recent form but Sunderland produced a good performance and could have had more goals, though it would have been more comfortable if they could have wrapped the game up a bit earlier than the last few minutes as you can never truly relax while only one up.
What is going on with Lee Cattermole? After the best part of 10 years and never scoring on Wearside, now he can’t stop with two in two games and added to his three away goals, that is a tidy return for a central midfield player who is reinventing himself as a Frank Lampard-type!
I feel as though over the last three games, Sunderland have steadily improved and I don’t think it is a coincidence that the team selection has been consistent, with not too many changes in personnel or tactics.
While I am more than happy to acknowledge Sunderland’s good recent form, I still believe they can get better.
That is no criticism, it just augurs well for some tough games coming up that will test everybody both physically and mentally.
You can’t get much better than three wins out of three, momentum is building, so long may it continue as the most crucial part of the season approaches.