West Ham 1 Bolton 2. Highly unwelcome news from the East End. Please let that be the end of the Wanderers’ revival …
Rapidhammer, one of my partners in crime at FootballUnited.com, has just posted a match report headed “I hate Bolton”.
Since I had come to regard the Hammers as certainties to climb out of trouble, I hate them tonight. This was surely a home banker. How could they do it to us?
Can Sunderland fans also take a spot of comfort from the outcome? No Premier team will draw a fourth home game on the trot, will they? No Bolton team can win twice away in a row (and a third successive Premier game at that), can they?
That cosy coupling of notions would leave a home win on Tuesday as the only option remaining.
A Bolton fan will be back here within the next 36 hours to crow about his team’s run, boldly predict another Wanderers triumph on Tuesday and set us all worrying about dropping into the bottom three – something we’ve been trying so hard to do for months.
But we also know we CAN win. We DO have players who should be able to make the difference.
Steve Bruce has one last chance, perhaps, to produce something that would at least give the impression that our season can be turned around. I am not saying defeat on Tuesday, or another unhelpful draw, would leave him out of a job come the morning.
Niall Quinn tells the SAFC club website Bruce is not under pressure:
“I’m the first person to realise the fans haven’t had a lot to cheer about. Steve Bruce has only been here nine months and it takes a while for a team to settle in. But we’re really happy that we have the spine of a side that can consistently get into that top 10.”
That would be far comment if we were not actually back in a familiar relegation dogfight.
The impact of another failure (and against lowly opposition) on our fans’ morale, which is already at rock bottom, would be alarming.
Let’s just settle for a mild Ha’way the Lads for now, avoid booing anyone in red and white stripes before the final whistle and hope that, at long last, Bruce and his team give our frustrated, betrayed fans something to restore the smiles.