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Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final

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Patience is a virtue for Sunderland AFC

“Keeping faith in the club getting the business done this summer is more important than ever,” writes Paddy Hollis.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

The summer can be a tricky time for football fans. After months of relentless football, the season ends abruptly in either jubilation or heartache.

We then have several weeks of not much going on, with only the scraps of transfer rumours to keep us company.

It may not have been too bad had the World Cup been played during its usual summer date, but this year we don’t even have this, unfortunately.

Sunderland are no exception, and the relative quiet in this summer so far has been interjected with new contracts for Gooch, Patterson and Roberts - moves that have only strengthened us on our way back to the Championship.

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One - Play Off - Final - Wembley Stadium Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

You could be mistaken for thinking that Sunderland are in for a quiet summer, but the way we’ve gone about our business so far suggests we’re not only taking our time, but are being shrewd whilst operating from the shadows.

Empty speculation can create more frustration than it prevents, and we have been the victims of plenty of mindless rumours in recent years.

In previous seasons, I too have been partially swept up in this sense of worry over a barren summer in terms of transfers.

Seeing rival clubs getting their business done early can be frustrating and concerning - naturally, most of us want to see reinforcements signed up in plenty of time before the start of the pre-season games, and to speed up the ‘gelling in’ process.

My concern about our lack of early business was felt in both windows last season, but in the end we added just the right number of correct players to get the job done.

It is because of this that, this summer, I’m feeling much more relaxed about everything.

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Piecing together a side for a higher division is a project that can’t be rushed. With the new deals we’ve had sewn up for some of our current players, in addition to the blend of youth and experience we’ve put together, I believe we have a solid base.

Solid enough to not need a complete rebuild, and with a few additions (which will come before the end of our pre-season schedule) we’ll be in good shape.

For the first time in many years, we are starting a campaign with a manager who I have faith in. Alex Neil is a calm and collected man, who was airdropped into the club after the January transfer window and who rebuilt the confidence of a squad in the doldrums.

He took us on one of the longest unbeaten runs in our recent history, and stuck by the plan he believed in to get us through the playoffs.

It is for all these reasons that we should have the faith in Neil to get things right this summer.

The first pre-season games will be here before we know it, and with our first Championship fixture just over a month away,

A lot will happen off the pitch between now and by the time we kick off against Coventry City, but we as a fanbase have plenty of reasons to believe that those in control at the club will get things right.

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