Media mash-up continues as James Hunter, Richard Mennear and Paul Fraser pen their pre-match thoughts ahead of Sunderland’s trip to Norwich City.
The trio share their thoughts on the Sky Bet Championship clash, pinpoint the areas in which the game will be won and lost – and much more…
Paul Fraser (@paulfraserecho) – The Northern Echo
Simon Grayson is desperate for the positive vibes to continue after an encouraging start to the new season. It might only have been a point claimed against Derby County last Friday, and a victory over League One opposition in the Carabao Cup on Thursday, but at least the Black Cats have shown a togetherness and spirit. It would have been easy for everything to have fallen apart after relegation from the Premier League and all of the changes that have taken place. But there is real sense that Grayson has the players working for him and he has genuinely brought some smiles back to the players' faces. It is only early days and a trip to Norwich City, who are fancied to do well this season, will be tough. The Canaries, though, have had plenty of changes too over the summer so it is a difficult game to predict. What bodes well for Sunderland is that at least the players are putting in a shift for Grayson. That needs to continue to Carrow Road to make life difficult for the Canaries. Sunderland have started off brightly in a defensive sense and if they can create a few more things going forward - and add a few more new signings - then Grayson might be able to steer Sunderland in a brighter direction over the next eight months.
Richard Mennear (@RichMennearJP) – Sunderland Echo
Simon Grayson has his first competitive win under his belt as Sunderland boss thanks to the Carabao Cup win over Bury. And now the Black Cats head to Norwich City aiming for their first three points of the Championship campaign. Sunderland head to Carrow Road buoyed by the win at Gigg Lane, George Honeyman with a very special first goal for the club. Academy product Honeyman was the star of the show second half and got his rewards with a superb goal to seal the win. Darron Gibson impressed too on his return to the side, with Grayson opting against making wholesale changes. It turned out to be the right decision with Sunderland securing their first win of the season, that can only boost morale further at a club too used to losing over recent seasons. Norwich away poses one of the toughest away tests of the season, though the last time Sunderland made the trip they won 3-0 on their way to Premier League survival. What Grayson & Co would give for a similar result on Sunday lunchtime. Three points is the aim but a draw would help maintain momentum.
James Hunter (@JHunterChron) – The Chronicle
The quick turnaround between Thursday's Carabao Cup game at Bury, tomorrow's long trip to Norwich, and then Wednesday's visit to Sheffield Wednesday, offers an early taste of what lies ahead in the Championship. But the Black Cats will arrive at Carrow Road buoyed by their first win of the season, which followed on from a promising performance in the opening-day draw at home to Derby County. Simon Grayson made a handful of changes at Bury, but I expect him to revert to largely the same side that faced Derby – with Lee Cattermole, James Vaughan, Billy Jones, and Lamine Kone restored to the side. Norwich's start is very similar to that of Sunderland, a draw in the league followed by a cup win, and this is likely to be a tight game against a side expected to be part of the promotion race, after underachieving last season. But Sunderland's early performances have been encouraging and they must not let their standards slip tomorrow.
The views expressed within this article are the views of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of Sunderland AFC.