I was shouting and swearing when I saw Virgil van Dijk score that devastatingly cruel late goal on Saturday at Southampton. We were seconds away from out first clean sheet since the end of November and we could have been - should have been - three points clear of the relegation zone.
However, as much as we’re hurting with dropping two points - and it was two points dropped - let’s not forget we did get what looks like a very good draw on paper. Although we’re only one point clear, we are still out of the bottom three.
Remember back to the end of December after we lost 1-0 to Liverpool. We were seven points adrift of safety. If you were offered being out of the bottom three by a point at the start of March, I’d be extremely surprised if there’s one Sunderland fan who wouldn’t have taken that.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m annoyed we didn’t see out the victory when we so close to it but I would have been more gutted if that had been a last-minute winner for Southampton.
Put it this way; before kick-off on Saturday if you were offered a draw away at Southampton (Sam Allardyce did say before the game he would take a point) while Norwich AND Newcastle both lost, what would you have said? I can’t speak for every Sunderland fan but I would have snapped your hand off for that.
We are in a better position now than what we were beforehand. Although there’s a chance Newcastle will get rid of Steve McClaren (please don’t sack the wally with the brolly...) survival is still in Sunderland’s hands.
Having Allardyce is a massive plus in our favour BUT that doesn’t guarantee us staying up.
I think three more wins and two or three draws may just do it but only if two of those wins come against Newcastle and Norwich. Beat them both, and it’d be massive step towards avoiding relegation.
I’ll take more about the derby next week, but for now all I’d say is I couldn’t give two monkeys about bragging rights for this one. If it was only about bragging rights I’d take a draw all day long but the three points against a team below us would be more important than seven-in-a-row.
We’ve had an annoyingly poor record against Norwich in recent years and I see them as a side we should be beating, but we haven’t won at Carrow Road since beating them 4-1 in a League Cup tie in 2009 – far too long.
At the end of the day, however bad we may feel now, we still did better than Newcastle and Norwich on Saturday. All we can do this weekend is support Manchester City and, especially, Leicester City.
Hopefully by the time we play Newcastle, we are still seventeenth – here’s to hoping we're there come the end of the season.