Sunderland are about to play a home game with fans and players both in a positive mood in what feels like the first time in a calendar year.
Chris Coleman has displayed the passion and desire fans have been yearning for and confidence appears to be creeping back into the changing room and the terraces.
That makes Saturday’s game against Reading a perfect opportunity for Sunderland fans to come out in force and show the world, but more importantly the players, that we are a not the hindrance that many in the media and online would have you believe.
Many have commented over the last few weeks about the attendance at the Stadium of Light, and Ian Holloway went one further after his QPR side visited telling us that opponents use any negative energy from the home crowd to their advantage.
We needed the second goal in the game, if we had done the atmosphere would have helped us, not them.
My shout to everybody would be this is a brilliant club, you still have the support and those lads out there still need some help.
While Holloway’s comments are fair, they make the assumption that the fans have been given something to cheer about by a group of players who have failed to win at home since December LAST year. That is an English record for the longest stretch without a home win, so how anybody could actually criticise the fans is beyond me.
But now the situation is different.
With new manager Chris Coleman picking up his first win last weekend the mood in the camp should be at an all time high. Players who have struggled to make an impact and have been seen to hide away in the last few months now have a chance at a fresh start and it looks like the manager is keen to give them the opportunity to prove themselves.
So, as fans, lets also give them a fresh start.
To be clear, I am not expecting everybody to forgive them for poor performances in the past, but instead lets urge the lads on as we know we all can on Saturday and beyond.
These players may well make mistakes, errant passes, missed chances etc. But it is important to ensure that they don’t fall apart on the pitch as a result of that and can display the confidence and character required to make it in this league.
Under Coleman I am confident that the lads will display all the strength and desire expected of them not only as professionals but as Sunderland players and as a result they will reap the rewards from one of the best fanbases they will ever play for.
It won’t be smooth sailing from here on out, but as long as we see a group out there every week putting their bodies on the line for the shirt, its our responsibility to make sure they feel appreciated by everyone in the stands.
If the fans can get rid of this idea that we are potentially a weapon for opponents to use against us then there’s no reason that Coleman and the players won’t be able to bring the good times back.