SAFC’s comfortable 3-1 romping of Wycombe Wanderers at the Stadium of Light this weekend has planted the lads at the top of the table. The scenes of hope and excitement at this development is a sign of how far things have fallen in recent years, with the club having failed to mount a serious automatic promotion challenge for over three years. This time, we’re hoping it will be different. It’s too early to make any predictions or bets unfortunately, yet so far Lee Johnson’s men have shown all the correct signs on the pitch.
Excusing a flimsy loss against Burton Albion, there can be no complaints nor disappointments about the start of this season. Avoiding the horrific pitfall of the “1-1” we so frequently espoused under Jack Ross, SAFC have won 4 out of their 5 games flat and proceeded to knock out a higher division team in the cup. This shows the renewed sense of determination, discipline and organization in the side under Johnson. It’s an apparent improvement from last season’s woes, although time still has to put this firmly to the test. As we know, inconsistency has been Sunderland’s worst enemy in this rough and tough tier.
Yet for the journey that lies ahead, we have firmly got the engine roaring and started this season with the “lift off” we truly needed. We can take confidence in the fact that selling Charlie Wyke was not a mistake and that Ross Stewart, now nicknamed “The Lock Ness Drogba” is proving to be an even better replacement, one looks at his 4 goals for us so far and Wyke’s 0 under Wigan then we realize that was business well done.
The biggest test of our season so far will be the trip to Sheffield Wednesday come Saturday, where first will pit against second, an early yet huge stakes game in establishing dominance in this tier. Let’s see what happens…