Time to crown our penultimate Player Of The Month and after what was a poor, poor month in the main it's little surprise that it's gone to one of our very few leading lights, and probably the busiest player during this dismal run, in the shape of Simon Mignolet.
The outstanding Belgian goalkeeper wins it yet again following a string of consistent performances against West Bromwich Albion, Queens Park Rangers, Manchester United and Norwich City, but was his superb performance against Fulham which seemed to seal the deal and put him over the edge as the top performer for the month.
We're probably running out of superlatives for him, but here's what was made of his performance by the rest of our writing team;
It is difficult to remember a more beleaguered season that this one. We have had worse ones, but perhaps not more laboured. Throughout it all, though through the lethargy and disappointment, there has been Simon Mignolet shining like a beacon of consistency. Congratulations once again to our Belgian 'keeper for taking home a coveted (honest) Roker Report award.
Mignolet's month can be summed up by two moments. It began with a wince inducing, comical goal caused by Titus Bramble and ended with a fine save in the dying embers against Manchester United. His parry from Robin van Persie's late effort at the Stadium of Light was typical of his month and indeed season, whilst the Bramble caused moment of misery at the Hawthorn's summed the rest of the hapless team up. Unsurprisingly, given just how bad we've been, the reliable Belgian is deserved winner of the player of the month - not that there was much competition.
Let's be honest, all this continuing stream of Roker Report Player of the Month awards is doing for Mignolet is reaffirming him as the only one with any semblance of consistency in this sorry season. Arguments about Martin O'Neill aside - and I still firmly believe the players have a hell of a lot to answer for - the likelihood is that without Mignolet we'd have been cut adrift long ago. That isn't to say he's been outstanding this past month, far from it. He's been saving what you'd expect him to save. Unfortunately, doing what is expected of you has proven too much for the rest of this lacklustre squad.
Well this should come as no surprise to anyone to find that our Belgian 'keeper has again worked his way to the top of the Player of the Month charts here at Roker Report with another string of ever dependable performances. It's getting to the stage now where its hard to imagine what life was like before Simon stole our hearts and I dare not contemplate an immediate future without the shot-stopper.
While Steven Fletcher won all the plaudits earlier in the season courtesy of his goal scoring exploits I would hazard a guess that Mignolet has earned his side almost as many points with his own eye-catching performances with that save against Fulham being the pick of the bunch lately which started off an all-important Sunderland counter-attack and goal.
Things have certainly been unpredictable this year but one thing remains constant - our Belgian 'keeper.
This has been a pretty disastrous month for Sunderland in terms of results, and it would've been a hell of lot worse if it wasn't for the performances of Mignolet. Once again he was consistently excellent, and while the rest of the team has floundered, our Belgian keeper has kept his head . Without that save from Berbatov against Fulham, one of his best for the club, we would've surely gone down to yet another defeat, and interventions against Man Utd, West Brom and QPR saved us further embarrassment in those games. Sunderland are in a relegation dogfight right now, and it's unclear at this stage if we'll get out of it. With Mignolet in goal however, we've at least got a fighting chance.
And now we take a look at the full table for a run down of who improved and who have seen their scores dwindle during the final matches of Martin O'Neill's reign on Wearside;
12/02/13 To 01/04/13
Overall it's a bog-standard table this month. Those we know are good such as Mignolet and Sessegnon top the table. There's a nice appearance near the top for Alfred N'Diaye who has steadily improved as he's settled into the team, but the likes of Seb Larsson and Titus Bramble should be worried as two of the worst performers this month.