I had my doubts as to whether Sunderland could complete the job last night. We've seen this side collapse far too often in the past to fully trust them, even in the wake of a recent magnificent run of results. That's four wins on the bounce now and a chance to make it five amidst a party atmosphere on Sunday against Swansea.
You have to give huge credit to the players and management for the turn around. Gus tried something different with the three centre backs, it failed, so he went to a tried and trusted system with the same group of players every week - and it worked. Our possession game has still been noticeable, but Gus has brought it on in just a few months. The build up is purposeful rather than laboured. The ball is moved forward quickly and we create far more opportunities. It finally clicked and it's been phenomenal.
In spite of survival with this group of players, I don't think we can be hoodwinked into thinking we can rely on the majority of this group. They've been poor more often than not over the last few seasons. Then we have the issue of contract extensions. Many of those out of contract look likely to leave on a Bosman, including the resurgent Jack Colback and Seb Larsson.
If Gus can get rid of most of the dead wood, that would be great. It would be nice to see Marcos Alonso and Santiago Vergini convert their loans, too. A word for Vergini here. Last night I thought he was outstanding, as he was against Manchester United. He strolls through games at full back, it's like he's at a level above the Premier League in the position. Bizarre!
Basically, we should all have a bloody lovely jolly up at the weekend and really, really enjoy it. It's been a tough season with epic highs and infuriating lows. Poyet and his staff now must work hard and, most importantly, sensibly over the summer in order to create a platform to build on. We can't be dealing with another mass overhaul in 12 months time. We've seen the results of that on the pitch for the last three years.
Joining us to mull over the WBA game is Tom Lynn, former Wearside Roar editor. We're also joined by The Shields Gazette's Gary Foster. We'll preview the Swansea game with Matt Harrison, from the Jack Cast. It should be chilled, for a change!