Wrinkly Pete: seven games to go, seven reasons to be cheerful

Roll up, roll up and see what one satisfied customer, with a little help from the much-missed Ian Dury, has to say. Peter Lynn’s trip home is a long one, even from home games, but he travelled back to his Midlands nest in good cheerful spirits after the West Brom game. Like Pete Sixsmith on a shorter hop to Shildon, he glanced at the faces of fans on the returning WBA coaches and looked in vain for signs of happiness at what they’d just seen served up by Pulis’s men. Here’s Wrinkly Pete’s list of a Sunderland supporter’s reasons to be cheerful (it started as six, but he’s added an even more upbeat seventh) …

One We are playing good football that is fun to watch

Two We have found a formation that is no longer leaking goals

Three We still have fantastic support despite our perilous position, staying until the final whistle

Four The current first choice team looks like it would die for the cause

Five Despite off-field distractions we are turning our season around

Six We still have survival in our own hands

(Lucky) Seven (Lucky) We scored two goals against Leicester earlier this season, since when we have become a much better side

These are my views, the views of a realist.

If I were an optimist, I would be saying that we have nothing to concern ourselves with and we will win the next four games and be safe.

If I were a pessimist, I would be wondering what on earth possessed me to buy tickets for the Leicester, Norwich and Stoke games to come?

As our coach made its return journey to the Midlands after Saturday’s match, we were passed by several full of Baggies. I looked at the faces inside and did not see a single smile. I must say I am not surprised.

I have only seen them play twice this season, in both our fixtures. At the Hawthorns they were every bit as poor as us and only won the game when Berahino fouled our keeper. The fact that our (ex)-keeper is a foot taller than their player is irrelevant.

At the SoL, they were again poor and achieved their aim of a point with negative play, gamesmanship and fouling.

They never seriously threatened our goal.

Foster, who made some outstanding saves, wasted time from his first goal kick until the final whistle. How on earth a professional referee failed to punish this is beyond me.

The fouling committed by the West Brom players, except the outstanding Fletcher and Evans, was encouraged by the officials’ inaction.

It is clear to me that these players are doing this to instruction and do it very well.

It is, in my opinion, a pity that the illegal aspects are not stopped by the match officials.

This is not sour grapes on my part. I was thoroughly entertained by my team and extremely proud to have been there with one of my sons to witness a 100 percent effort by both the players and our superb supporters.

I would genuinely prefer to watch Mackem magic – in any division – than Baggies boredom.

Peter Lynn: on keeping the faith and keeping smiling ...
Peter Lynn: on keeping the faith and keeping smiling …
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