Too often do we hear the phrase ‘back to square one’ as a Sunderland fan. In the last few seasons especially, there’s been periods where the team have led us to believe that genuine improvements are being made, then before we know it, a poor performance in the following game slams us straight back into the ground. This mustn’t keep happening, and I think we might have the right man in charge to ensure it doesn’t.
Although we beat Newcastle last weekend, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we played well. We took our chances and rode our luck. The Academy of Light will have inevitably been a more positive environment on Monday morning, but everyone involved with the club knows that a lot of work still needs to be done to get it right.
Confidence is a huge factor in football these days, and positive results are the only thing that can breed it. Confidence and an improved standard of performance go hand in hand. A player can be told that he’s talented on the training field by a manager a thousand times, but that player will only actually feel confident when they contribute in a team that picks up a good result. Sunderland must start grinding out results in order for this to happen, and Sam Allardyce is the perfect man to develop this approach and mindset.
Everton is a massive game on Sunday. A win would be a great result don’t get me wrong, but what’s more important is that we don’t lose. What we definitely don’t need is an awful performance and a crushing 3-0 defeat, because then we are back to that familiar ‘square one’ situation.
Providing that results go our way, a win at Goodison could even help us out of the bottom three which would be a massive bonus. But what is more important, is that we make ourselves difficult to beat, and we take our chances like last week against Newcastle. In doing that, we might just get a result.
Beating Newcastle has been a turning point in seasons previous to this one, and let’s hope that at Everton on Sunday we continue to show improvement and get a result no matter how pretty it looks.