Will Jones says...
It’s in our hands. And I can finally say I believe this squad has the confidence, belief AND the quality to make the most of the position they’ve got themselves into.
From the players to the staff to the fans, the confidence amongst us all is great. It’s at an all time high, and everyone believes it, that’s half the battle.
We now have a manager who can adapt, one who I don’t believe has had anything near a full squad since the day he arrived and yet has put together a team which scores and keeps clean sheets every week.
As we have said, consistency is key in this league and is something nobody has brought to the table. You see a team get 4 wins in a row and get called amazing for this level, then you don’t see them win for a couple of weeks. We finally have that, we are fearless, together and above all else... feared.
Teams will now come to the SOL quaking in their boots, something we seemed to be doing at the start of the season. This mentality is infectious, and one that has turned even the largest of skeptics into a believer.
Gary Engel says...
Sunderland are on course to win promotion this season.
First of all, we are arguably playing better now than at anytime since we were relegated from the Premier League. There seems a strong togetherness running through the Sunderland squad, that again, we haven’t seen for a long time. That can go a long way when the pressure is on in the final weeks of the season.
We’ve now won at Wembley, so even if we fail to win automatic promotion we should tackle the play-offs with more confidence than we’ve ever had.
We’ve hit form at the right time, and personally I feel if we are a strong position after the Peterborough match, that it will be our season. Lee Johnson has turned us from lacklustre mid-table nearly-men into genuine automatic promotion contenders without a doubt.
Jack Gingell says...
I’m very confident.
I’ve seen plenty of promotion sides, and regardless of their style of football, they all share this undefinable quality that makes you sit up and go “this is a promotion side”.
Lee Johnson has got the lads not only firing on all cylinders, but capable of switching tactics regularly without hugely impeding our ability on the pitch.
Other than a relative injury crisis at centre back, we have options all over the pitch. You only have to look at the game against Accrington - we could call upon the likes of Sanderson, Winchester, Vokins and Stewart, all of which having an impact. I’d argue that no other side in this has the strength in depth we have, and that again will help us massively.
I’ve always felt we needed a goalscorer to go up and Charlie Wyke has shown no signs of letting up - in the meantime our other players are starting to chip in around him.
The emergence of Ross Stewart could also be pivotal - it is very early days but he looked a class act against Accrington Stanley. He of course scored, but his heading, strength, movement, positioning and touch were spot on. His presence on the corner from which Wyke scored, dragging three players towards him due to his evident threat, shows what we may have on our hands.
All in all, I fear no one in this league. I’ve heard 6-7 teams be called unstoppable throughout the season and all have fallen through the cracks. We have hit form at the right time, and are a force to be reckoned with. Get the champagne on ice.
Rich Speight says...
I’m starting to think that I might be too confident that we’ll go up. This isn’t how things normally go for us, or at least not in the last decade or more. When you look at the table, and look at the fixtures remaining, the form, the goalscoring charts, assist charts, bookies’ odds; it all points in one direction - promotion.
I’m getting on a bit (compared to some of the other lads, anyway), and bitter experience has taught me not to get too far ahead of myself, but the gaffer seems to be guarding against complacency within the side whilst maintaining this winning momentum. It’s a delicate psychological balance to strike, and something that the whole squad need to keep up in the weeks ahead.
We need to keep showing the professionalism, drive and determination that has been the hallmark of Lee Johnson’s first few months in charge if this run is to continue. I doubt we’ll go the rest of the season unbeaten, but then I doubt the teams around us will go unbeaten either.
Cliches are cliches for a reason, so I will say it... let’s take one game at a time, lads and lasses, one game at a time.