Winless in their opening nine games, six goals to their name and just 4/11 to be relegated from the Premier League. That’s the position Sunderland currently find themselves in after a terrible start to the season. But despite all of the negativity surrounding the Stadium of Light right now, the Black Cats can still avoid the drop, and here’s how…
Have faith in the manager
Although the numbers are against him and the pressure is building, Sunderland fans simply can’t afford to turn their backs on David Moyes. After all, this is a man who’s never faced relegation in a managerial career which stretches back to 1998.
Moyes has worked with some of the best players at some of the biggest clubs in Europe, and although this is relatively new territory for the 53-year-old, his record shows that the future of Sunderland is in safe hands as long as Moyes is in charge.
Such links to big clubs have already been emphasised since the Scot moved to the north-east, with Moyes signing no less than three Man United players as well as a former Everton man. There’s every chance that more could be on their way should the Sunderland board stick with their current boss.
Make their own luck
Granted, no wins in nine games is unacceptable, and is the kind of form you’d expect from a club tipped to go down.
But in truth, the Black Cats have been pretty unlucky so far this season, dropping points in the last five minutes of games on four occasions.
Had they have held on in said matches, they’d have another six points to their current tally of two, putting them in 17th place, just four points off the top 10.
It’s time to stop losing focus so late in games and start pushing on to create some positive drama in the dying seconds.
Be ruthless in January
It’s no secret that the Premier League boasts some of the richest clubs in world football – and that’s including Sunderland, who forked out a staggering £31m in the summer on new players.
But their transfer activity shouldn’t stop there. The winter window provides Moyes with the perfect opportunity to add to his squad at a time where he’ll arguably be in a better position to pick out areas which need improving than he was back in pre-season.
They’ve already been linked with a whole host of names including Robbie Brady, Shane Long and FC Copenhagen’s Federico Santander. Even just one of those names would help ease the pressure currently on Jermain Defoe’s shoulders up-front.
But in order for a move to be of interest to any of those players, Sunderland need to start proving they are worthy of their Premier League status.
In short, if they can keep within touching distance of their fellow Premier League strugglers until January, they’d certainly be one of the more appealing clubs for top players at the bottom of the table.
Up next for Sunderland is the visit of joint-league leaders Arsenal. And such a game arguably couldn’t have come at a better time for Moyes. Nobody will be expecting the home side to take anything from this fixture, meaning that even a point could prove to be a catalyst for better things in the coming weeks.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing