Sunderland are riding the crest of a wave at the moment, having surged up the League One table under Lee Johnson.
Their 1-1 draw with Lincoln City might have tempered the run a little, but they will still be hoping that next season brings a return to the Championship, and a platform to build upon. They are a club with a rich tradition of playing football at a higher level than League One, and eagerly await a chance to get back to where they belong.
With a big takeover, a new manager and a fresh impetus, everything seems in place for their resurgence. Indeed, they have also managed to keep the Academy of Light productive, with several young players elevated to the first team. One of those, Denver Hume, has been out injured but is hoping to make a comeback shortly.
He spoke to the club’s matchday programme about his hopes for the Black Cats this season, claiming the only aim they have right now is promotion.
“I think we can definitely achieve a lot this season, and there’s still so much to play for. We entered a bit of a sticky patch since I’ve been injured, and for a while now we’ve picked up and earned some good results.
“We have to just try and keep that going, stay consistent, and winning at Wembley too – that can breed confidence. With the squad we have, I think you could say we’ll be kicking ourselves if we don’t give ourselves a chance to get promoted. That’s been the aim since we got relegated to League One – the only aim we have is to go up.”
The Black Cats sit out tonight, but rivals Peterborough are in action, with a tough tie away at Blackpool.
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Hume is spot on – the Black Cats have given themselves every chance of promotion after enduring a tough start to the season. the recent run might have ended against rivals Lincoln City, but they avoided defeat and left themselves with an advantage over the former league leaders.]
The key now is bouncing back from that draw and showing the application to win matches despite the recent injury crisis. With Luke O’Nien having to fill in at centre back, they are far from full strength, which bodes well when players do start creeping back to fitness.