Despite their awful start to the season, Simon Grayson felt there were some reasons for Sunderland to be positive after Saturday.
His side gained a credible 2-2 draw at former club Preston, who had been flying so far this season. The point also ended successive defeats, although the Black Cats are still 23rd in the table.
The manager pinpointed two of his more experienced players as having made a key contribution.
“I thought John (O’Shea) and Lee (Cattermole) showed what they are all about; leaders, captains of the team, they led by example,” Grayson said to the Sunderland Echo.
“We had to compete in midfield, Catts and Didier did a great job in winning the second balls and the players have all responded. I felt putting John in the team, his experience would help the team and it did.”
Even though it was a much improved performance, Sunderland are the only team in the division who have yet to keep a clean sheet, whilst they have just one win all season.
After the 5-2 embarrassment at Ipswich, Saturday was a good response by Sunderland and the two players mentioned did play well.
However, there is still a lot of improvement required if they are to get out of the mess they’re in and Grayson will need to rely on his experienced players to deliver and relieve the pressure on others.
Incredibly, the Black Cats have yet to win a home game in 2017 and that obviously needs to change, and the game against QPR at home next presents the ideal opportunity and could be key.
What do you think Sunderland fans? Did Cattermole and O’Shea impress? What needs to change? Let us know in the comments below.