John McCormick writes: Petula’s singing quietly in the background as I finish my beer. I’ll shortly be going to bed, where I’ll hum “I believe” until, at midnight, Radio 4 lets the sound of Big Ben ring out with: Jer-main-De-foe, Jou-nas-Ka-boul; Kha-zri-Ko-ne, Ca-at-er-mole.
Tomorrow, I’ll wake up to Oklahoma’s “Oh what a beautiful morning”, which will be followed by Louis Armstrong and “it’s a wonderful world” but, really, I’ll be waiting for Stevie Wonder and “Overjoyed”, which will accompany Pete Sixsmith’s report.
But that’s tomorrow. Before then, after Petula finishes and before Big Ben begins, we have “The Letter”:
3-0! Three set pieces – two corners and a free kick – I think we could have had many more, but there was some good goalkeeping to keep it at 3-0 and just as important as the goals was the clean-sheet at the other end.
The turn of the year was a real eye opener for me, how we turned around the season since then we became a lot more resilient, a lot tougher and we showed a lot more quality and we stuck together as a team.
Jermain Defoe’s goals have made a huge difference to our season, we’re now on 37 games and 38 points and for the first time since I’ve been here we’ve got more points than we’ve had games!
I’ve always said 38 points would do it and it has and now we’ve got a lovely trip to Watford to look forward to and we can relax and play a game of football that won’t be anywhere near as intense as our last few.
I didn’t envisage winning 3-0 tonight, I thought it would be tight but after the first goal we were fantastic, the lads were so confident and it just relieved the pressure from everybody.
The fans were able to enjoy the last 10 minutes because they knew we’d finally made it.
The feeling you get when the fans cheer you and you hit that wall of atmosphere makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck – it spurs you on to play well and it makes you love the game.
We’re finishing the season on a high and now we’ve got to make sure we start next season on a high! That’s what I want to see.
Sunderland have done this for the last few years, the optimism we see tonight has got to become a reality and we need to start where we’re leaving off. There will be a lot of hard work needed and lots of planning but we’ll do our best.
Thanks for keeping the faith