Q: Sunderland are now in an incredible position in the promotion race, but of the teams vying for one of the top two spots it’s safe to say we have the hardest run in. How confident are you that we’ll be able to do it in the aftermath of two wins this week?
James Nickels says...
I think we’ll be able to do it. On paper it’s the harder run in, but we’ve performed better against better sides all season-long. Peterborough are nowhere near the force they were at the start of the season and will allow us plenty of space to attack them.
We have home advantage against Doncaster and Pompey, and the SoL is finally a fortress for the first time in a decade. I don’t fancy anyone to come up here and do us over, especially with the confidence throughout the whole squad right now.
Everyone has played their part and will be right up for the run-in. Since losing in such emotionally draining and dramatic circumstances last Sunday the Lads have rallied brilliantly - immense credit must go to Ross and his staff here - and have seemingly taken it upon themselves go drag us back to where we should be.
Sunderland when a wounded animal are at our most dangerous, as a fanbase and throughout the side. We’ve picked up the most points and victories from losing positions - almost double in points than the team who are third in that table.
The never-say-die attitude and mental strength displayed by the Lads is one of the most vital components in a title/promotion race - I expect to see us firmly in that top two come May.
James Gutteridge says...
I’m confident we’ve got the quality to take one of the automatic promotion spots.
The emergence of Dylan McGeouch as the player we thought we’d signed is a huge plus - he provides a bit of extra class in midfield and he looks far more assured on the ball than Power or Cattermole do.
Charlie Wyke has looked a different player in recent weeks too and hopefully he and Grigg can continue to develop a partnership and give us that goal threat that we’ve needed in order to turn draws into wins.
It’s taken Jack Ross a while to find a system that works for this Sunderland team but we finally look like we’ve found one and the quality we have should tell in these last few crucial games.
Tom Atkinson says...
We are in a tricky situation regarding fixtures, but when you take a step back and analyse the squad we have then I think it’s safe to suggest we are in a really positive position.
With Leadbitter and McGeouch we have a truly impressive central midfield duo - supplementing that duo with Catts and Power adds depth and energy to the skill possessed by the aforementioned.
Moving forward, Ross needs to utilise all options in order to secure a top two spot. With Wyke finding form, our wingers are vital to continued success, and with the central duo bringing home the bacon, Grigg will find success.
Sunderland are in a brilliant position - find the goals and promotion is ours.
Paul Fletcher says...
Regardless of who has to play who I think we’ll pick up the points we need.
All the teams involved in the promotion race are good enough to win every game but at this stage of the season, I think it will all come down to two things - momentum and self belief. And fortunately, after two vital wins this week, we have both of these things at exactly the right time.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a squad playing with such belief - the amount of points we’ve salvaged from losing positions is a testament to that. Jack Ross deserves a huge amount of credit for getting the players into that positive frame of mind.
Also, the fact that we’ve been missing key players in recent games but the likes of Wyke, Sterling, McGeoch and Power have come in and done a great job is very encouraging.
It shows that our squad has the depth to cope with whatever is thrown at us.
Mark Carrick says...
The fact Sunderland have a tough run should not concern us.
The chance to play Doncaster, Peterborough and particularly Portsmouth should act to inspire, rather than intimidate this squad.
Some of our best performances have been against the top sides. Our best home game was the victory over Barnsley. Portsmouth at home should offer us the same opportunity to express ourselves and secure points against a close rival.
Aside from the teams we play, the desire, character and determination of this side, bouncing back from a Wembley disappointment to secure six point from two away games in a week, shows they are focused and now have two games in hand, not to catch Barnsley - that has already been achieved - but to chase down Luton Town.
I don’t expect this side to let this slip now. The penalty defeat against Portsmouth seems to have inspired, rather than derailed, the promotion campaign.