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Can a season turn on a single result?

As a Sunderland fan you tend to believe in fate. It is the fate of the Sunderland fan to be in a constant state of hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That both on the pitch and in the dugout the man will arrive that will see the club move onto the next level. To be the club that matches the pride, passion and sheer will of the best supporters in the world.

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However, fate once again for the fourth manager in a row has decreed that their second game in charge will be against Newcastle. The previous three had lost their first game and then beaten our fiercest rivals. Indeed we have beaten the barcodes in our last five fixtures.

So enter Sam Allardyce, poorly treated during his short time on the dark side and despite the public claims that he holds no grudge against the club and owner Mike Ashley, the one of any of our past four managers who would simply love to put one over Newcastle.

The atmosphere will be electric on Sunday and the question is what have we learned from last weekend?

Well Sunderland did look a lot more organised at the back. Many fans will say that we didn’t really look like conceding until what was a dubious goal. However on the downside we looked pretty blunt up front.

Newcastle on the other hand scored with every shot on target they had but looked like they would concede every time Norwich got into the final third of the pitch.

As much as the Geordies may delude themselves they will not find the road to goal as open as it was last Sunday.

The likelihood is that the result will depend on Sunderland’s ability to take the chances that come their way. The good news is that Lens will be back from suspension and he has been our most creative threat going forward by some distance this season.

It will also be interesting to see if Allardyce sticks with Larsson or goes with the more physical Toivonen given the likelihood this will be a battle from the outset.

You can’t help but get excited about the Wear-Tyne Derby but what will the result mean. A Sunderland win would not only be a vital three points but may well give the team a bit of belief and with its some momentum.

A loss would be a blow in so many ways. A trip to Everton comes next and although only ten games in it is also a quarter way through the season and we need to get points on the board.

A draw is a point and may well be progress but it is not really enough. There is no half measures on Sunday it is win at all costs but it will depend largely on whether the players can cope with the pressure. But it needs to be remembered the majority are international players, they are all on a decent salary, and the fans will expect to see some effort come Midday on Sunday.

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