So we have the regional bragging rights again and, more important to me, three precious points.
But beating an abysmal Newcastle United team is no more than a confidence-boosting warm-up for the potentially far greater task of grabbing another vital win, this time at home to Crystal Palace.
Palace’s home win over Man City the other night is just one of many exceptional performances since, painful as it is to admit, the bluster of Alan Pardew replaced the bluster of Neil Warnock. From looking relegation fodder, they’re in the top half and safe.
Only the strongest of team efforts, or an awful lot of luck, will see them off this Saturday. But victory would give Sunderland a second double of the season (with the next game, at Stoke, offering the chance of a third).
Get guessing with the score. Bill Cowell was right, yet again, with the derby result and will received the dressing room image you see on the regular prize mug but in a framed print. This week we’re back to the mug.
Palace fans are, of course, welcome to enter and our sponsor, Personalised Football Gifts, would come up with something more appropriate should there be a winner from that source.
Usual rules apply: be the first, before kickoff, to post the correct score below. Monsieur Salut’s decision shall be final and the prize can be posted only to a UK address.
And come back tomorrow for the Palace “Who are You?”, an interview with the Eagles-supporting (or, as she put it, EEEEEEEEEAAAAAGGGLLLLEEESS!) and Mencap-campaigning actress Kellie Shirley, soon to be seen in a four-part Sky series, The Marriage of Reason & Squalor opposite Rhys Ifans.
Salut! Sunderland: before the start of the season, a Palace fan site, Eagles Beak, carried out a big survey of how the club is perceived by others. Our contributor offered a mixed but not remotely warm view. You’re an insider but what is your impression of how non-Palace fans see you?
I love the Palace fans – they’re really passionate & always singing – there’s a brilliant atmosphere at the club that is genuine – not corporate! There’s not racist undertones or back stabbing. I’ve been coming with my Dad since I was little & I haven’t seen it change much. Football is competitive though and mixed with a few pints I reckon at most matches there isn’t a lot of love between supporters.
All I need add is Ha’way the Lads – and urge them not to assume Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Southampton and WBA will do the job for you by beating Aston Villa, Burnley, QPR, Hull and Leicester. But that combination of games, if only we can do the business ourselves, could give a mighty boost to our survival campaign.