Darren Byfield’s goal on his debut just four minutes from time saw Sunderland claw their way back from a two-goal deficit to steal a share of the spoils.
Really, much of this was very good indeed. Not in a tidy, graceful, stylish way, for we can hardly expect to see much that’s glorious and elegant at the moment. Nor in an organised, solid, nerveless way either, for we courted disaster on a few occasions, even before the late Sunderland fightback. But in a battling, struggling, fighting way, it was pretty much beyond criticism. As we know only too well, there are barely three or four players in the entire squad who can reasonably be considered to be in good form at the moment, yet there were many more here who were giving it absolutely everything in an attempt to get through the sticky patch. That’s more than half the battle, right there. And it’s a battle that we seem ready to fight, at long last.