Seven games unbeaten, four wins in a row, three cleans sheets in a row. Ten league goals scored in October and only three against.
Those are all great stats, but perhaps the most startling to me is our fantastic goal difference. When on earth did a Sunderland team ever have a positive goal difference of 17? Double digits!At a guess, maybe during Roy Keane’s promotion season? I’d have to check.
We are the second highest scoring team after Peterborough in League One and possess the second meanest defence. Who has the tightest? Kudos to those citing Blackpool in twelfth place (who knew?).
I’m no Rob Mason, but I know enough to know that these stats are unusual to say the least.
Other than Coventry City, we are the form team of the league. We are only one of two teams who have been beaten only once. And, if it weren’t for the five draws, we would be in an even stronger position - which is all the more remarkable when you consider the complete turnaround the club has undergone during the summer.
On one of the Roker Rapport Podcasts which featured and appearance from Sunderland AFC owner Stewart Donald, he was at pains to manage the expectations of the fans, saying that we have an embryonic squad/management team and that it will take time for things to bed in. And although performances have been stuttering at times, because of the paucity of this league, we haven’t been punished in the way we would have had we been in the Premier or the Championship.
And it can only get better with the likes of Duncan Watmore, Charlie Wyke, Denver Hume, Ethan Robson, Glenn Loovens and Max Power all set to return back to the squad in the near future - if Sunderland can manage to keep most of their squad fit over a sustained period, there should be more than enough strength in depth there to deal with whatever any of the other teams in this division have to throw at us.
Our side look to have grown accustomed to life in League One, with three successive clean sheets showing that the early habit of having to recover from a goal down has now been consigned to the scrapheap.
Being a Sunderland fan, I had everything crossed as I typed that.
The Lads face Plymouth, Morecambe and Walsall on their travels next month and host Wycombe and Barnsley at the Stadium of Light. Who’s to say we won’t win them all?
I’m not used to such confidence... but let’s enjoy it while we can.