At the helm: Miracle Gus

Sunderland were sat bottom of the division having not won any of their first seven league games when Gus Poyet got the job as manager in October 2013.

The team were struggling, but luckily, Poyet was able to get his first win in just his second game in charge. Even better than that, it was against our dearest rivals Newcastle United.

A 2-1 victory with a late goal from Fabio Borini was just the spark the club needed to turn their season around, and the clubs form improved enough to get within touching distance of survival.

Form up to Christmas was still patchy though, but the team were enjoying success in the League Cup and were progressing through the competition nicely – a semi-final against Manchester United awaited in early 2014.

January was a great month for the club. Form improved dramatically and the team rose as high as 14th in the table. 

A dramatic League Cup semi-final victory against Manchester United was the highlight of the season, with the team winning on penalties.

Another derby day victory came at St James' Park to make it three in a row on February 1 2014, and at that stage the club were looking comfortable in the table and had a FA Cup quarter-final coming up as well as a League Cup final against Manchester City.

Unfortunately, that mid-season form dwindled away with the team failing to win any of their next nine league games after beating Newcastle.

A cruel late equaliser by Samir Nasri looked to have killed our chances of survival at Manchester City, but the team rallied and ended Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten home record at Chelsea with a quite shocking 2-1 win.

Fans were believing that a miracle could indeed happen, and the 4-0 home victory against Cardiff only reiterated that belief. 

Another victory at Old Trafford was followed by a 2-0 win at home to West Brom, which confirmed the club’s survival in the most unlikely of circumstances.

The summer of 2014 followed and Poyet was busy in the transfer market as he brought in Billy Jones, Costel Pantilimon, Jordi Gomez, Patrick van Aanholt, Jack Rodwell and Will Buckley.

Form was average early in the campaign, with four draws from the first five games as the team struggled to score goals.

A first victory of the season came against Stoke City at the Stadium of Light as the Lads won 3-1, before they later put away Crystal Palace by the same scoreline shortly after to climb the league.

The Lads drew five of their next six games before winning again at St James' Park, this time by a score of 1-0. 

That was the high-point of the season, with the team struggling to string together a run of positive results together. As a result, the Uruguayan was relieved of his duties after a poor 4-0 home defeat against Aston Villa.

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