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Things are looking up for Sunderland's red and white army

Article by Jon Guy

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It is the hope I can’t stand, has long been a rye phrase that has tumbled time and time again off the lips of Sunderland fans down the years.

Despite the literal ups and downs and the knowledge that we are more than likely setting ourselves up for a fall we have always looked towards the start of a new season with the view that maybe, just maybe, this would be the year.

None of us are foolish enough to believe we will be battling it out for a champions league spot come April 2016 but with a kind draw we could make it to a cup final and then anything could happen over the space of the ensuing 90 minutes. Indeed I only have to think back a couple of years to the League Cup final and at half time 1-0 up ( it should really have been at least two) getting a feeling the way we were playing we might just nick it.

We all know how it ended but maybe this season we might really have some cause for optimism.

Dick Advocaat said he wanted to get in five or six quality players to enhance his squad and he has set about addressing the areas where he, and many of the fans for that matter, believed last year’s squad was lacking.

The past seven days have been a blur of transfer activity and what has been positive is the way in which the club move swiftly following the collapse of the Nicholas Lombaerts transfer.

Hopefully we can get over the comments made by Younis Kaboul’s agent a few years ago when we were in for him before his move to Portsmouth but he will add pace to the back line and as an established Premier League player there is no settling in period needed.

How Jermain Lens will fare is an exciting question. From what I have seen of him he is quick and has an eye for goal and now what we need is a playmaker to augment the other new arrivals.

Word from California has been that there is a quiet confidence and determination around the squad and the real test will come when we face Toronto who are midway through their MLS season so will be a stiff test before we return to the UK.

The boss has said the aim of the tour so far has been to work on the team’s shape and that may well be the case but we still do not know the final shape of the squad.

The next three weeks without doubt will see some ins and outs but once again we will be looking toward the trip to Leicester City with a good degree of optimism.

However, while it is a well-trodden path for every Sunderland fans this year there does seem to be greater grounds for optimism.

It may well prove to be a season where our expectations are not matched with reality but I would take a decent cup, run a season where we are not constantly looking over our shoulders at our proximity to the bottom three, and to hear the Stadium of Light to reverberate to the sounds of our new song “seven in a row!!!”

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