Writer: Gary Johnson
Date:Tuesday May 10 2011
Now that Premiership survival has been achieved we can now look to finish the season on a high by trying to overtake our arch enemies and attempt to finish in the top ten.
Last season we finished 13th with 42 points and this was seen as a good season for us but we have to try and get higher and show we are moving in the right direction under Steve Bruce. Yes, this season could and should have been a lot better but with the injuries we have seen anything above 13th is still a good target.
We now head to the final two games against Wolves at home and bottom of the table West Ham away with maximum points a real possibility. We showed on Saturday that we have what it takes to still get three points with no available strikers but will we go for Wolves or sit back now we are safe?
My bets are on a full-hearted display from Bruce`s men as every spot higher in the league means £800,000 more in the bank. It also makes the club a more attractive option to players who we attempt to sign in the summer so we cannot afford to take our foot off the gas pedal.
Mick McCarthy will be taking his team to his old ground the Stadium of Light with full hopes of causing another upset in order to keep his Wolves team in the top flight. They started off brilliantly against W.B.A but looked very nervous in the last 30 minutes and this is something Sunderland must take advantage of.
If we can keep everyone fit and maybe include Noble or Knott up front for the last half to see if they are capable of performing at this level we have a great chance of another three points. If we win, this will almost certainly take us back above NUFC as they face an angry Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The hard part will be keeping a clean sheet, something we have already achieved 12 times this season, a stat that only 5 other Premiership teams have recorded.
The hardest game will of course be the away trip to a red-hot Upton Park against the out of form and poor West Ham United. They HAVE to win both remaining games and if they fail to beat Wigan away we have another great chance to take three points. We have a terrible away record at West Ham but with their confidence at an all time low and could already be relegated this could work in our favour to finish in the top ten.
No matter what team Bruce selects he has to remember the fans are paying £46 to see their players try and take back the points to Wearside, we have to go for the win and confirm West Ham to a season in the Championship.
HAWAY THE LADS!
Date:Tuesday May 10 2011
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