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Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg

All hands on deck: Sunderland are down to the bare bones, but we’re fighting on!

Sunderland’s comeback win gives us a slight advantage in the Championship playoffs - and it showed once again that these players are giving their all for us.

Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Saturday’s 2-1 win against Luton Town felt like another special night at the Stadium of Light.

Over 46,000 watched on as our patched up Lads put on the performance of their lives to come from behind and make sure we take a slim lead down to Kenilworth Road.

It was a match during which we saw everything which we’ve come to associate with this group of players.

The home leg of the playoffs was always going to be a bit of a worry considering our poor record at the SoL. Luton are one of only three teams to have a better away record than us in the regular season. Just four defeats on the road and 11 wins meant that we were always going to be in for a tough task - even with a fully fit squad.

Despite the task ahead of us, our Lads worked hard to get half of the job done. They were superb playing our attractive and attacking style of football, but also by working hard for each other. These players have each other’s backs and have done so throughout the season, creating a team morale which has been a huge part of our success.

Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

One player who we need to keep singing the praises of is Pierre Ekwah.

In the final few games of the season Ekwah has grown into the kind of proactive midfielder we’ve not seen much on Wearside. His positive attitude on the ball and his backtracking off it has come together to show that in Pierre Ekwah, we have a very promising player. His display against Luton was his best yet, and he once again showed why West Ham made a huge mistake.

The injuries we have been riddled with this season have been nothing short of unbelievable. We went into the play-offs with no centre backs and no fit permanent striker. Despite all this, the players who are available continue to put in one hell of a shift.

We don’t know how the second leg will go, and it’s going to be a very tough match where you would expect Luton to throw the kitchen sink at us. But look at it this way- Luton have drawn nine home games this season. If this number gets added to on Tuesday, we’ll be heading back to Wembley.

Whatever happens down in Bedfordshire, we can be so proud of what this club has become. This season, we’ve seen a manager come in and guide this group of players towards where we want to be. Sunderland AFC are going in the right direction, and a top six finish in our first year in the Championship - whether it ends in promotion or not.


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