Writer: Gary Johnson
Date:Monday January 11 2010
January could be classed as a 'write off' in many Sunderland fans eyes with their only winnable game being moved due to the 'Big Freeze' against Bolton at home last weekend.
Sunderland have to travel to top of the league Chelsea this weekend and show they can get back to winning ways as they look to stop sliding down the league, it's typical that we have to play Ancelotti's men when we are in urgent need of points on the table.
This game is important as Sunderland look to get their first names back into the squad and get a precious away win under their belt. Failure to get any points against Chelsea will mean that they will have to get some points at the even trickier Everton the week after.
Bruce will be looking at new players to be involved in certainly the Everton game with rumours of Kaboul, Bentley, Johnson, Cabanas, Kuranyi, Demel and Figueroa being close to signing.
It is vital that we get in another two defenders as we have not had the same centre back pairing in the last eight games. Turner will be facing his last of his four game suspension and the injured Craig Gordon will be looking to get back in the team before the end of this month.
With Cattermole being close to fitness and Cana being paired alongside him it is important that we try and get the most out of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
We normally play better against the big teams, and Bruce will be looking to show the Premier League that Bent and Jones have the fire power to get them away from the bottom half of the league.
If we can approach this massive game in the right frame of mind and allow our injured players to get back into a pattern this will breed confidence into any new signings in the next few weeks. The reason why Birmingham have went 12 games unbeaten is simple, they have played the same team each week and built a spirit.
With the crucial injuries to Mensah, Richardson, Cattermole, Gordon, Jones and Andy Reid we could have been breaking the records Brum seem to be smashing. Hopefully, with the arrival of the above players we can step up to the plate and start shocking teams like earlier in the season.
We were unlucky not to beat Manchester United and then we showed there was no luck involved when we beat Liverpool and Arsenal. There is no reason why we cannot do the same against Chelsea this weekend with their players away on International duty.
January is a massive month in how this club will be shaped through new arrivals and the injury list clearing. If we can manage to upset Chelsea or Everton this will enable us to have a real go in February with some big home games on the horizon.
Date:Monday January 11 2010
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