Sunderland’s poor home form has been well documented over the past few years. Seven home wins in the last two seasons, one home win in 2017 and just two in 2018 prior to the weekend.
Rarely being ahead in the past two seasons is a fact which many people liked to remind us of after each game without a win. When the fixtures were released, the first home game was always going to be a special occasion for more than one reason…
Rebuilding the Stadium of Light into a fortress is perhaps one of the first steps for any team towards a successful campaign. As Sunderland have failed at this for the past several seasons, it’s something which we need to work on. Therefore, Saturdays 2-1 over Charlton was the absolute perfect way to start the new campaign.
It’s been a major summer of change on Wearside, but football is a results game and all the new seats, new players and new hope would count for practically nothing if the losing run was to continue into the League One campaign.
The way we came from behind to grab all three points showed that even after one game, the new set of players have shown they have more guile than those players who have turned out in red and white in previous years.
With more season tickets sold than last season and healthy match-day sales, there was always going to be a big turnout for the opening day. If things hadn’t gone to plan, it would have been a sickening blow to the pre-season optimism which was overflowing by kick off on Saturday.
However, apart from falling behind early on, this never looked likely.
Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the game, but the noise which came from within the Stadium of Ligh was just as special on the many videos taken by fans in the stands.
It was an incredible atmosphere considering how things on and off the pitch have been recently, and one which has been missing from Sunderland for far too long.
Everything about Saturday’s match was a breath of fresh air. From the owners having a kick around in the fan zone with supporters before kick-off to Lynden Gooch busting a gut to firstly bag the winner and secondly sprint to the North East Corner of the SoL to lead the wild celebrations, the day was one which made you proud to be a Sunderland supporter.
By no means did we play outstandingly, but if we can win whilst not performing to the best of our abilities on a regular basis then we will become a tough team to break down in the coming months.
It won’t always be like this in the days that follow a match, but Sunderland fans have had very little to write home about recently so let’s just enjoy what we saw on Saturday and hope that it’s just the first of many good times at the Stadium of Light this campaign.
Putting a string of positive home results will do everyone on Wearside the absolute world of good - let’s go and do it again when Scunthorpe are in town!