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Opinion: Let's roll our sleeves up and bring some positivity to this season!

They do say, after all, that being a football fan is about supporting your club through thick and thin...

Manchester City v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

I can still remember it clear as day: Lamine Kone smashing home the crucial second goal against Everton and the scenes of sheer jubilation that followed - that split-second when the ball dropped to him, the audible gasp as the moment lasted a lifetime, then a thumping top corner finish from four yards out.

What a night! We stayed up, Newcastle went down and all was right in the world.

And in the following weeks and months we took the piss, as you do. Oh, how we all fell about the floor laughing as they tried to pretend they were excited for a season in the Championship. The Premier League is the promised land - who could possibly want to be anywhere else?

Rewind to two months ago - with David Moyes in charge we were sleepwalking towards one of the most mind-numbing relegations of our generation and had also failed to score a single goal in seven games. The frustration of seeing inept performances on and off the pitch led us to demand answers from the club on exactly what the hell had gone wrong to put us in such a depressing, almost apathetic situation. Sections of the media chirped on about how we should have expected it after five years of struggle, and perhaps they were right - maybe we should have seen it coming the minute circumstances bit us on the arse and took Sam Allardyce to the England national job.

Sunderland v Swansea City - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Apathy reigned supreme. As we know, David Moyes has thankfully quit the club and rumours of a takeover are rife but we are still managerless and our best players have left, or are due to. In spite of all this the toxic atmosphere of last season seems to have cleared slightly.

I’m not sure how or why, but as we awaited to see which Championship club would be rocking up to the SoL on day one of the season, I noticed this cloud that had surrounded us had shown signs of lifting. The resignation of a man who was simply not fit to manage this marvellous club certainly helped matters and the knowledge that we would no longer need to watch mercenaries like Lamine Kone, Adnan Januzaj and Fabio Borini much longer was also some small consolation. However, that was a pretty dark cloud and it would take more than that to lift it.

On Wednesday social media was high on a bizarre kind of excitement, waiting to find out which club would be the first to witness a sold out away end of rowdy Mackems. Fans suddenly had the thought that watching Sunderland AFC could be bearable - or at least adventurous.

As the list was officially released, people were already looking through nights out at Christmas in Sheffield, things to do in Burton and the best away day pub in Preston. Personally, I’ve been on the edge of my seat waiting for the tickets to Livingston and St. Johnstone to go on sale. No, really, I have.

The buzz was coming back only weeks after I thought it had been killed! "But why?" I asked myself. "What is it that has caused this sudden surge in blind positivity?" I don't know the answer. What I do know is that just as I felt I had lost my football club to the despair of relegation, this surge of optimism might be exactly what we all need to get it back.

Derby County v Sunderland
More days like this one against Derby and that dark cloud hanging over us will lift completely.
Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

The days of persistent battles against relegation with last gasp escapes were full of good memories but they were torturous on the nerves. The constant change of philosophy and manager had left us weary and drained, the need to splash cash on overpaid, overrated rubbish had left us disillusioned. We had become so apathetic it felt to me like football didn’t matter anymore. Premiership football was never that bloody good anyway, was it?

I grew up supporting the Lads from the terraces against the likes of Bolton, Grimsby and Luton Town as many of us did. Those night matches at Roker Park and eventually the Stadium of Light where where we fell in love with the club. That togetherness of our fans, that solidarity and strength, no matter how rubbish the quality of the play on the park was.

These times can strengthen a fan base: when we all come together for the cause because we know the club needs us. These seasons are for the ones who love this club through thick and thin and therein lies the reason I and many others couldn’t be more excited to be standing in the away end terraces at Burton Albion with you lot, the best fans in the world!