Media mash-up continues as James Hunter and Richard Mennear pen their pre-match musings ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship clash against Hull City.
Richard Mennear (@RichMennearJP) – Sunderland Echo
The Sunderland squad has a point to prove after the 4-0 drubbing at Cardiff City last time out. Fifth-bottom Hull City are the visitors to the Stadium of Light this weekend and the Black Cats need a win. However they get it, they need a win. Sunderland, who have managed just four wins from 27 games played, find themselves three points adrift at the foot of the Championship. Thankfully other results last weekend largely went in their favour. The picture heading into this weekend could have been so much worse. Sunderland need to start stringing together wins if they are to pull themselves out of danger. Relegation to League One remains a very real possibility. The business conducted in the transfer market over the next 10 days or so will go a long way to deciding Sunderland's fate this season. Chris Coleman's options are depleted once again, injuries playing a huge part with the manager unable to pick his strongest side consistently. Promising striker Josh Maja needs help up front and hopefully the cavalry won't be too long in arriving.
James Hunter (@JHunterChron) – The Chronicle
The pressure is on this weekend. A home game, against a relegation rival, with a squad severely depleted by injuries and – unless a new face arrives in the next 24 hours – no senior strikers to call upon. The circumstances could hardly be more difficult as Sunderland prepare to face Hull City. But there is no point in the Black Cats feeling sorry for themselves and feeling they are on a hiding to nothing even before they take to the field. They must focus on turning the situation around, no matter how tough that may be. After all, Hull are in terrible form themselves with just one win in their last 14 league games. And if Sunderland win on Saturday, they would leapfrog the Tigers and could climb out of the relegation zone. To do that, however, they will have to perform much better than they did at Cardiff City last weekend – at both ends of the pitch.
Paul Fraser (@paulfraserecho) – The Northern Echo
It might be for all the wrong reasons, but what a big game Hull's visit to the Stadium of Light is. The Tigers are struggling towards the wrong end of the Championship table, albeit even if they are not in quite as poor position as Sunderland. Chris Coleman is remaining positive that he can turn things around on Wearside - and he probably can - the question is when? If Sunderland are to climb clear of trouble this season then the visit of Hull represents an opportunity to really get things moving. A second home win under the Welshman could prove the catalyst for more and how Sunderland need it. A failure to deliver the three points, though, could have a massive impact on a fragile dressing room still scarred from the problems encountered during and after relegation from the Premier League. Hull have some good players, and have a decent Championship manager, so they will be looking at a trip to Sunderland as an opportunity themselves. Coleman's crew can't even think about that, they need to get a much-needed victory at whatever cost - with or without new signings!
The views expressed within this article are the views of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of Sunderland AFC.