New Year, new Sunderland? Well, not quite.
The fresh start which we might have optimistically been searching for has perhaps unsurprisingly failed to fall into place. In turn, we have been left with two defeats and no goals scored so far this new calendar year.
Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough was probably predicted by many once it was confirmed most of our first team squad weren't available, and that Jason Steele was playing between the sticks. The defeat to Barnsley on New Year’s Day came as a slightly more surprising result due to it being on the back of a hard fought away win.
Despite winning in a scrappy fashion away at Nottingham Forest, Sunderland just didn't look bothered at all when we took on the Tykes at home, and we could have easily lost by more. Here was a perfect opportunity to seal a third win in four, against a side in even worse form than ourselves - and we bollocksed it up.
But then again, isn't it all just very Sunderland to let the fans down in such a disappointing fashion?
We may only be just over a week into 2018 but it is already looking like the coming year on Wearside will be a deflating one.
Relegation to the Championship was supposed to signal a fresh start for the club - one which, after some initial trepidation, the majority of Sunderland supporters seemed to embrace, particularly in the summer.
It was a chance to clear out some of the players who didn't want to be here, and invest what little money we did have into buying players who were prepared to come here, embrace the task at hand and roll up their sleeves.
We were never going to sign world beaters yet, out of the players who did arrive following our relegation to the Championship, very few have shown that they have the quality or desire to make a decent fist of it here.
At this stage, our best hope for the coming year is that we somehow scrape survival and then spend the summer overhauling yet another squad as we attempt to not only reduce the wage bill, but bring in players on the cheap that have a genuine hunger to succeed.
It appears as though Chris Coleman will have very little, if any, money to play around with between now and the end of the month, and it’s difficult to see how we’d improve significantly when we’re only making loan additions.
Sooner rather than later we’ll need Ellis Short to wake up and realise that his ability to sell this football club hinges firmly on the immediate future of this football club.
To a degree his stance regarding further investment is understandable, but without backing Chris Coleman in the transfer window it’s difficult to see how we can realistically expect to stay up this season.