A derby day success over Newcastle in just the second match of Gus Poyet’s tenure at the Stadium of Light will have served up some much-needed succour to put-upon Sunderland fans.
However, given the fates of recent gaffers to record rocking-horse-dung-rare Wearside wins in the bitterly-contested fixture the Black Cats may well be the strong bets for relegation their odds of 3/4 suggest.
The last two Sunderland managers to oversee a Tyne/Wear derby victory were gone within 11 games.
Yes, the only recently-deceased spectre of Paolo Di Canio’s debut derby success and subsequent quick dismissal has been brought up by every consolation-seeking Newcastle fan going, but Roy Keane also suffered a similar fate.
The passive-aggressive puppet-master was in the hotseat when the previous red and white success against Newcastle went down back in 2008/09, but was gone just seven games later.
Southampton, Man City, Chelsea and Tottenham visit the Stadium of Light inside the next six games.
From the white-hot atmosphere of the derby the former Brighton boss and his new minions will be cast in to the sizzling frying pans of meetings with five of the current Premier League top seven.
14 league games have elapsed since the last time the Black Cats bounded back to the baths with a clean sheet.
Poyet may well have boasted the Championship’s finest defence at Brighton last season, but in that case he was able to call upon former England internationals like Matthew Upson and Wayne Bridge for assistance.
Sunderland’s league-leakiest rearguard have no such above-average talent to call upon at present.
Meanwhile the Uruguayan’s arrival has yet to arrest their defensive frailty if the way Mathieu Debuchy was allowed to steal at the back-post unmarked to score for the Magpies is anything to go by.
Steven Fletcher and Stephane Sessegnon scored 44 per cent of the Wearsiders’ goals last term.
The injury-prone Scot is once again among the joint-leading scorers at Sunderland despite starting only four of their nine games in 2013/14 while the mercurial Beninese has departed for West Bromwich.