Kevin Phillips has been impressed with Sunderland’s start to the season, with that feeling being enhanced after Saturday’s 3-1 victory at home to Wycombe Wanderers, speaking to Football Insider.
The Black Cats sit at the League One summit after five games this season, and whilst there is still a very long way to go, the early signs suggest that Sunderland can carry on in this vein.
The League One club have won all three of their home games thus far, winning a further game away from home, taking their tally to 12 points.
Sunderland have just embarked on their fourth attempt to find a way out of England’s third-tier, with expectation levels around the Stadium of Light, being as high as ever.
Speaking to Football Insider about Sunderland’s start to the season, and more specifically, the club’s 3-1 triumph over The Chairboys last weekend, Phillips said: “I was in the Fans Museum before the game and there was a real sense of optimism.
“Everyone’s excited that at last the club is giving young players an opportunity. It has been staring everyone in the face over the last couple of seasons. The experienced players haven’t done it.
“I was really excited to watch the game on Saturday and I was not disappointed. Once the game settled down Sunderland looked by far the better team. I was very impressed with them, I have to say.
“The lad [Callum] Doyle from City looked very assured and comfortable next to Tom Flanagan. [Dennis] Cirkin and [Carl] Winchester looked great either side of them as well. Dan Neil is a really exciting player.
“I was sat in the box with some other supporters and you could feel the buzz around the ground. We all know there is a long way to go though.”
It has been a really strong start from Sunderland, but they know that times will get tougher and that their resilience will be tested as the season progresses.
The club have got themselves into good positions, in regard to the league table, quite often since they were relegated to League One, but that is something that they need to eradicate from their minds.
The return of fans has seemingly been a big boost in Wearside, and with the fans fully behind them, their home record could be pivotal.
A theme of Lee Johnson’ managerial career is starting strong, he now needs to start finding ways to prolonging success.