Cause For Optimism
We all know the statistics - 13 games without a win etc etc. It`s plastered over every article that concerns Sunderland, and is etched into the part of every Mackem`s brain that deals with worrying and nervous emotions.
But I genuinely think we should be optimistic ahead of the Fulham match.
As a bona-fide pessimist, this is an unusual thing for me to blurt out on a website read (and ran) by footy fanatics. My logic is simple: it has to end sometime. Our squad has too much quality for this run to continue.
Look back to what we showed at the start of the season. Cana was immense, our wide midfielders were creating chances and the strike partnership was scoring goals in their sleep.
We have had our dip in form, now is the time to rise out of the other side of a terrible few months.
Simply by the law of averages our luck has to change, and there are signs already that it is beginning to. Fulham`s super-striker Bobby Zamora looks set to miss the match with an Achilles injury picked up in Europe. Both Clint Dempsey and Andy Johnson are both still sidelined, taking a considerable chunk out of Roy Hodgson`s attacking options.
Their midweek excursions will also have drained considerable energy from the Cottagers and Sunderland have had longer to prepare for the match.
Boylesports are making the Black Cats early 5/4 favourites for the clash, and so am I. I think it is time for the lads to step up and play as a team, despite our injury and suspension problems.
It is a rare chance for Brucey to field an unchanged back four with Mensah and Turner both available, and I think this is our best Centre-Back pairing by far.
Jones and Bent are still doing well and our midfield always looks better at home. Even if it is suspension-ravaged.
All in all, I`m going to put my neck on the line and say we will win. Ha`way the lads and ha`way the fans, lets get behind the team.
It is a must win game. But more importantly it is a game that we certainly are capable of winning.