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Reasons to be cheerful - what have Sunderland fans got to be positive about?

The mood seems to have lifted slightly after last night’s win, though the positive momentum has to carry us through into Saturday’s game against Pompey. What have Sunderland fans got to be positive about right now?

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland AFC - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Q: Give us something we should feel positive about...

Craig Davies says...

Two words - time and Potential. Both words should give the natural pessimist at least some pause for thought; some glimmer of a bright dawn.

In terms of time, the season has barely begun and for a different system, with brand-new new players to gel into an effective tactical plan, that can improve performances and results, then time is key in allowing all of those crucial elements to unify into one successful footballing organism.

We have both time to improve the status quo or or time to rip up the plans altogether and work on something different. Certainly we’ve not had an inspiring start, nor have we had a disaster. Time will allow players to develop and for tactical solutions to work out any challenging nuances.

We also have potential. We have the potential to win this league.

We have the resources, the stadium, the fans and the squad to make a successful run towards what we all want- promotion. Only a few clubs in this league have a cat in hell’s chance of winning it outright and we are one of them.

That potential - at least at this stage of the season - should be more than enough to keep even the perpetual gloom merchant and the eternally disappointed among us, enough hope to prevent a mass walkout for at least a few months. It’s the hope we can’t stand, but it’s also the hope that sustains. Time and potential gives us enough of that for now.

Sunderland Pre-Season Training Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Jack Ford says...

That this season, unlike the last, there aren’t two clear-cut favourites to walk the league.

Whereas last season Luton and Barnsley were earmarked by many as promotion favourites, along with Sunderland of course, there seems to be a lack of unanimity when it comes to predicting the top two this year.

Portsmouth are a threat, Peterborough have made massive moves in the transfer market, and Doncaster look favourites for an “under the radar” successful campaign; but even with our current deficiencies I’d expect us to comfortably compete with these teams over the course of the campaign.

Of the promoted League Two teams, who tend to do well when making the step up, Lincoln City look most like being able to “do a Luton” due to the sheer functionality of their team and the Cowleys’ management gifts. However, they still look a bit spare of open-play goals and general quality on the pitch, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose their manager during the course of the season.

Unfortunately, Bury may well not exist come the end of the season, and have no chance of even staying in the division no matter what happens.

The other two teams, Milton Keynes and Tranmere Rovers, should easily stay up – with MK expected by a few to push for the play-offs – but again would surprise the vast majority of fans if they finished anywhere near the automatic places.

Of the relegated Championship teams, Ipswich seem to be high on most peoples’ prediction lists, but in my opinion this vastly underestimates both how poor they were last season and the massive lack of investment made in the squad this summer. While they have players that on paper should do well in League One, we should all know that doesn’t get you very far once a ball is kicked, and that a dysfunctional team of “talented” players is still a dysfunctional team.

Again, like for Tranmere and MK, Rotherham should be amongst the play-off contenders, but aren’t exactly looking like a clear cut above the rest of the division. Bolton unfortunately are also pretty much relegated, with a 12 point deduction and not even eleven fit senior players.

I’ve long said Jack Ross isn’t improving this team, but I’d be surprised if it all collapsed and we ended up worse than our fifth placed finish of last season. We might just wing our way to the top two.

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland AFC - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Chris Wynn says...

It’s two League games out of a long, 46-game nine month marathon for a start, and we haven’t lost yet.

I thought until the Oxford goal there was only one team who looked like scoring and it wasn’t the team that broke the deadlock.

Their keeper made a smart save from a lively McNulty and it could have all been different. You could see in the body language and in the tempo of the game the impact that first goal had on the players.

We went back into our shells and didn’t create through fear of completely losing grip of the game by conceding a second. As for the Ipswich game, we were dreadful and avoided defeat, is that the sign of a good team?

I haven’t seen enough of this team yet to judge and to give them credit we came back and avoided defeat...twice.

This weekend is another test to gauge where we currently stand, beat one of the favourites for promotion in our own back yard and it could mean we’re well and truly back on track.

A week is a long time in football...

Sunderland v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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