When going into the final game of the season, none of us expected it to play out like that. It’s not the final game this inspiring season deserved, it didn’t represent how great this team has been, but that’s okay.
We had young players who were pushed too far, we had injuries that plagued us time and time again, we didn’t live up to our potential, but that’s okay.
It’s okay because although we feel deflated, we feel sad, we are gutted and this isn’t the end. Every single one of us has been lucky enough to finally see a Sunderland side that care about the club.
After years of begging to see that passion and love we as fans feel reflected on the pitch, we’ve been given that. Although, right now, it’s hurting this is the start of something.
This young team is the start of something great, something exciting, something fresh and every single one of us is going to be there for that journey. This is the new Sunderland. A Sunderland that fight until the end, that show no fear, and that have given us the chance to fall back in love with our club.
This season we’ve seen goals that we never believed were possible, we’ve beaten teams that once upon a time we didn’t have a chance against, we’ve travelled up and down the country and been rewarded for our loyalty.
Think of the goal at Reading, think of Cardiff away, think of West Brom, think of QPR, Watford, Boro at home. Remember celebrating with Jack Clarke, Patrick Roberts, Amad, Ross Stewart (briefly), Dennis Cirkin. Remember Joe Gelhardt’s dancing, Luke O’Nien’s piggy back, Tony Mowbray’s hamstring. Think of the joy these lads have brought us this season. Think of how you felt on that final day at Preston.
Right now it might feel like it’s over, but I promise you it’s not. There is something stirring at the club, something we have not seen in a long time and it’s something worth holding on to.
Take however long you need to process this. Remember that what ifs, offsides and missed chances if necessary but come August, get back to your seat, sing your heart out and show this young team that we believe they are capable of so much more.
This is a team that will go down in the history of our club and if you’ve stuck with them through the past four years, you deserve to see the history this team is making.
Next season we will win, we will lose and we will draw. These are things that will happen. However, it won’t be as it has been before because no matter the outcome of a single match Sunderland are back and we are ready.