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Finally it feels like we are getting somewhere; 4 things Sunderland fans can be positive about

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It's time for me to snap out of my cynical stupor - it is Christmas after all, and we've finally got something to shout about!

Sunderland v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images,

Chris Coleman

I love this man. Admittedly I’m biased, for his achievements propelled my nation to highs we’d never experienced before – his tenure was incredible.

With Coleman I believe we have stumbled upon the ‘real deal.’ He’s hit every nail on the head in his early Sunderland career, and it was a thrill to listen to him engage with fans on BBC Radio Newcastle last week.

Yes, admittedly we lost to Aston Villa and Reading, but the Burton and Wolves performances have given fans something to cling onto.

Coleman in just four games has begun to implement a clear formation and constructive pattern of play – and the players are responding. He’s working well with the resources available and making us hard to beat.

Who gives a damn what the media, other fans and opposition managers have to say? Give me some of that sweet, sweet defensive football.

Aston Villa v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Lewis Grabban keeps scoring

Say what you want about his all-round game, but the fact of the matter is that Lewis Grabban keeps on scoring goals. In our perilous position we've no right to turn our nose up at a goal-getter, irregardless of his lack of aerial prowess.

The man has scored eight goals in eleven games. In a struggling side, that’s nothing short of exceptional. He's been feeding on scraps for the most part.

If we can somehow get through January without Bournemouth recalling him back from his loan spell it’ll be a minor miracle, but we have to cross our fingers and hope that they leave him alone. For now, though, lets just enjoy having Grabban around and if he can continue scoring through December, then happy days.

Sunderland v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Youngsters

We’ve got some talented kids coming through the system at Sunderland.

Elliot Embleton made his professional debut on Saturday, and though his cameo was short, he didn’t look out of place. This is a player who has international pedigree at youth-level with England recognition at under-17, under-18, under-19 and under-20 level

The lad clearly possesses a wealth of talent, so let’s get behind the him. After all, the majority of us enjoy nothing more than a youth product doing well in the first team.

And who’s to say that Josh Maja can’t be a big player for Sunderland when he returns from injury? By all accounts he’s a better a player than Joel Asoro, who has done well to take his chance under Coleman.

Honourable mentions go to Lynden Gooch and George Honeyman too - these two lads have been working their balls off in matches recently. They're still new to the professional game, but what’s pleasing is that they don't look out of place at this level, and they play for the badge - which is exactly what we need right now.

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League 2 Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Robbin Ruiter

We now know who our number one goalkeeper is, which is a vital part to the continuity of any side.

Thankfully Ruiter has managed to steadily improve so far under Chris Coleman. Keeping clean sheets at Burton and Wolves will have done his confidence the world of good and confidence is key for any goalkeeper.

The big Dutchman perhaps needs to be more vocal and command his area with more authority, but that will hopefully come with increased game time and experience.

Hey... he's better than Jason Steele, let’s face it!

Sunderland v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images,