Phil West says...
I do feel more confident about our prospects for the season after we stabilised the ship with a decent return of points from the last three games.
Morale and confidence were both at a real low after a very poor run of performances and results, and it was crucial that we began to move forward again, albeit with three less-than-perfect performances.
Getting the points on the board was far more important than playing brilliant football over the past week, and in that sense, we have definitely got ourselves back on the right track.
The most important thing for me was that, over the past week, the players have shown that they are fully supportive of Lee Johnson, and that they have the ability to dig deep in order to grind out results.
Against Ipswich, we kept going and eventually got the reward, and against Cambridge, we had to show resilience in abundance, particularly during the second half, when the game became more of an arm-wrestle and the weather conditions turned increasingly tricky.
We were never out of the promotion mix, despite what the more pessimistic fans claimed.
Even though injuries are starting to bite, I’m confident that we have sowed the seeds for another good unbeaten run.
When we return to the SOL on league duty, it’s a great chance to show more improvements and to offer further proof that this team IS a promotion-capable team.
Michael Dunne says...
There is a sense of relief that we have put some of the negativity behind us in the last week.
With what seems to be a theme with all the teams in the top six of this league thus far, there are going to be inconsistent performances and streaky (I know...) runs.
Sunderland find ourselves in such a good position entering into the Christmas period, with three games at home - three winnable games too. The fans will head into them in a confident mood, and will hopefully roar the lads on to victory.
In his post-match interview at the weekend, Bailey Wright stressed the importance of the team learning from mistakes of the past. Wright cited the Portsmouth game, as he reinforced how horrid the conditions were.
You could see that Sunderland learned from the Fratton Park debacle.
The defence was very solid, and hopefully that will continue to grow stronger in the coming weeks, especially with all the injuries we have.
Contrary to the belief of some, there is a growing sense that this is a very united group, and hopefully they - the players, head coach and staff - will continue to show this.
Four of our next six games are at the Stadium of Light - what better way is there to signal our true intentions, than by winning those games and advancing up the table?
Kelvin Beattie says...
7 points in a week from a possible 9 is not bad going.
The melt down by a vocal minority on social media after the Shrewsbury game was astounding given we were never out of touch with the promotion places.
The Cambridge performance was evidence of a plan B, which allegedly LJ does not have. It also evidenced an increased toughness and resilience to defend a winning position.
It's not that pretty to watch, but without doubt it can be just as satisfying as a cavalier 5-0 victory, when the final whistle goes and the points are ours.
Nathan Broadhead is bringing an unpredictable element to our forward play, and Pritchard is showing more of his undoubted talent. I am expecting Neil to continue his progress on the pitch, especially with O’Nien and McGeady out injured for lengthy spells. And, it would not surprise me to see Jack Diamond back from his loan spell in January to augment our attack and wing play options.
As we have ground out these seven points, I have been impressed with our defence. With Wright taking visible leadership and Doyle looking like he is enjoying his work again, Gooch has really dug in defensively as well as looking lively foraying up his wing. Confidence can be drawn by the players and fans from these seven points in this last week.
With Oxford coming to the Stadium of Light, I am anticipating a footballing challenge this coming Saturday.
I’ll be relishing this challenge, and cannot wait to continue the journey out of League One and onwards to the sunlit uplands of the Championship.