Paul Summerside senses a season-defining game just ahead

So after tonight’s win at Carlisle in the Carabao Cup, is Paul Summerside chuffed to bits, mildly encouraged or part of a jury that’s still out?  Where he stands will be hugely influenced by what happens at Barnsley on Saturday …

 


Tonight, as I write, we lie mid table and are in the 3rd round of the league cup.

Simon Grayson has settled nicely into the job, players appear to be playing for him and home crowds are still 30,000-ish. Not too shabby on first impression.

 

Decent cup performances, with an excellent win at Norwich, offer hope and suggest potential.

However, there are still gaping holes to be filled in Grayson’s squad  if we are to compete seriously in this league.

We’ve played three sides who I expect to be top eight – Derby, Sheff Wed and Leeds.

Though not embarrassed in any of these games, a return of two points from nine is disappointing, especially as two of these games were at home.

Results so far against the league’s better teams mean that wins against the lesser teams are essential, just to keep in touch.

The good news is that there are no “stand out” teams this year, and lost ground can be made up quite quickly.

And so on to Barnsley on Saturday.

The last game before the international break, and the closure of the transfer window. A massive following behind the lads again. A game that I feel will define our season.

Win this and we go to eight points….a decent start. Lose or draw and its five or six, which is mediocre.

The outcome will also have a bearing on what happens between now and August 31 regarding transfer targets. Snodgrass, McCormack and Leadbitter are far more likely to come to a top 10 Championship side going places than to a bottom half side treading water.

All in all a very important week coming up for Simon Grayson, Martin Bain, the players and the red and white army.

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by – and principally for – supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

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