Sunderland moved back into pole position for a place in the Championship next season, despite still being third in the table.
Their win with Walsall, coupled with Barnsley’s Friday night draw with Doncaster, means they’re now just two points behind the Tykes with a game in hand.
Football is all about points on the board, but if Sunderland can take advantage in their extra game, they’d be joining Luton Town in the second-tier next season.
The promotion race in League One is swinging between the two on a regular basis, only last week Barnsley were the favourites after holding the Black Cats at Oakwell.
Thanks to Lee Cattermole and Will Grigg, that’s no longer the case, although Sunderland will have three games in hand by the time they play next, with the international break followed by the EFL Trophy final.
Despite their upcoming lay-off, here’s three clear things we learned about the Black Cats this weekend.
Grigg and Wyke works
Sunderland have played a 4-2-3-1 formation, not unlike rivals Portsmouth, but with an emphasis on feeding in the central striker rather than feeding off him.
Charlie Wyke replaced Lewis Morgan and immediately set up the winning goal.
They could have a real partnership on their hands there.
The squad depth is excellent
If the league were judged on the squad as a whole, Sunderland would have been promoted at Christmas.
Jack Baldwin has missed out recently, with Jimmy Dunne and Tom Flanagan preferred.
Baldwin has come back in looking refreshed and revitalised. It’s a great position to be in.
Kazaiah Sterling was signed as no more than cover
Perhaps Sterling expected to play when he arrived from Spurs, but it doesn’t look likely to be the case.
He was an unused sub again and time is running out for him to make his mark.
He was surely signed as insurance, nothing more.