As Paul Summerside put it here earlier this week, Saturday’s game at Oakwell is a much more important test of Simon Grayson’s Sunderland than a 2nd league cup tie could ever be.
The result will not determine the course of our season. But the psychological impact of a good one, which means three points not one, would be huge. A bad does not bear thinking about, even this early in the season.
Sunderland are broke. Money received for Jordan Pickford, or saved because other outgoing players were on high wages, is not readily available to Grayson. He is shopping at Poundland not Harrods and the squad has severe limitations.
But it is not a useless squad. There is quality and commitment in there. And there must be scope for modest strengthening before the window closes.
Team spirit can count for a lot, perhaps more at Championship level than in the Premier League, and if Grayson is managing to create good feelings and a bond among his players, that will translate into points.
As usual, we have a decent package for th Barnsley build-up. Pete Sixsmith has written another outstanding piece for his First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground/Team series. It will appear tomorrow or Friday. We have an excellent set of Who are You? responses from a Barnsley supporter.
And now it’s time to guess the score.
I will stump up again for a prize – a mug reflecting your footballing allegiance, meaning Barsley fans are welcome to have a go, too – but a winner, like those from the earlier games of the season so far, will have to be patient. I will get round to ordering the prizes as soon as I can but it can be a laborious process and I have been a little busy of late.
Usual rules: be first with the cortects core, post it here before kickoff and have a UK delivery address. My decision shall be final .
Ha’way the Lads.