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ITHICS Fanzine: Sunderland’s ridiculous home run will surely end soon - & with it will come hope

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“Sunderland are taking small strides forward with Chris Coleman at the helm - surely our win-less home run has to come to an end soon?!” writes Mark Egan.

It’s The Hope I Can’t Stand!

A 0-0 draw with Wolves is hardly the stuff of dreams but the game offered further signs that Chris Coleman has a chance of turning things around at Sunderland.

A second clean sheet in three games is a massive step forward.

Our chances of survival rest on tightening things up at the back and there is now some clear evidence that Coleman could achieve this.

Surviving for half an hour with ten men was another positive. Earlier in the season we would have capitulated but there seems to be some steel creeping into what was previously a 100 per cent pure jelly backbone.

The fact that the result came against high fliers also inspires some confidence. In truth the Championship is an even league. Playing at Wolves is nothing like going to the Etihad, where a kicking is almost inevitable no matter how well you play. Top Championship teams just tend to be that bit better organised and motivated than the teams struggling at the bottom. All results are possible, which is a good thing for us as it means we shouldn't be daunted by the prospect of games against the likes of Sheffield United in the next few weeks.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Let's be honest, however - four points from four games isn't much of a dead-cat bounce. If anyone thought we'd saunter away from the bottom three they must surely be realising now that we are in for a long, hard struggle.

We’re likely to be in relegation trouble until the last few games, at best.

Naturally, attention is turning to the January window and the age-old question of whether Short will provide any money. It seems clear from what Coleman has said that he won't unless more players are moved on. But who will go? Hopefully Koné can be flogged to a Premiership struggler and this will provide Coleman with some funds. Other than that, though, who else will go for cash? It would be great to get Rodwell's wages off the books but the only way that looks likely is if we simply pay him off. Perhaps Huddersfield will swoop for Cattermole? Stranger things have happened.

We might also be facing the loss of Grabban, which would be a serious blow given the impact he has made. In those circumstances we'd clearly need to bring in a striker and we probably ought to do so anyway, given how little Vaughan has achieved.

He’s struggled.
Sunderland AFC | Getty Images

But this only serves to illustrate the problem with the January window.

Few players of quality move in January - the whole transfer window has an air of deckchairs being rearranged on the sinking ship, with money usually wasted rather than used wisely.

So who else do we need? A keeper? Perhaps, although Ruiter seems to be finding his feet. A centre half? Decent full backs - how long have we said we've needed to strengthen those positions? More creativity in the middle? More bite in the middle?

The fact is we will do well to bring in two or three players and what we need is players with character and heart, wherever they play. Lack of grit has been the real problem at the club for some time now and it's what's needed to grind out points in the Championship. People say it won't be pretty - losing every week isn't pretty either, so I say ‘bring it on’.

If we stay up it's because we've rediscovered how to win at home. This run is now officially ridiculous and it will end, sooner rather than later.

My prediction is that having won once we'll go on a little unbeaten run at home and in a few months the year of no wins will be well and truly behind us.

Perhaps someone will print t-shirts or certificates for all the fans who attended every single game where we failed to win. They have certainly shown the character and heart this club needs more of. Time to see more of it on the pitch.

You can (usually) catch the column from the lads at ‘It’s The Hope I Can’t Stand’ Fanzine right here on each and every Monday! Be sure to check back next week to hear their thoughts following the Fulham game.