FIVE days later and the Black Cats' abject surrender at Norwich City still rankles with manager Steve Bruce.
Hopes were high at Carrow Road of the Black Cats building upon their resounding 4-0 thumping of Stoke City nine days earlier.
Those hopes were soon consigned to history as a frustrating start to the season continued. All the good work beforehand was undone as familiar bad habits returned to allow the Canaries to bag the three points despite a late, but forlorn, rally from Sunderland.
For Bruce it was a frustrating night given the amount of ball his men had during the game.
He said: “We had enough possession in the game, but we did not do anything with it.
“We were desperate to get a result after the great performance against Stoke, so to play so poorly just compounded what happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“We had 62% of possession and made more than 500 passes, but we did not do anything with it.
“We were too slow and methodical and it became an awful performance. It has been a difficult week, but no more so than the result at Norwich believe it or not.
“We have to bounce back and we have to find the level of consistency we are striving for. We have to find the right balance in the team.”
However, there was one positive for Bruce with the display of newly-signed on-loan striker Nicklas Bendtner.
He added: “I thought Nicklas was our best player by a million miles at Norwich.
“He has settled really well and I thought he was terrific against Norwich.
“He is a confident lad and he has hit the ground running, but he could do with a goal now. Once he gets that, he will be up and running.”
It goes without saying a win over West Brom today would be a welcome relief to Bruce, who has appreciated the backing he has received so far from the Sunderland directors and the fans.
He continued: “I am not going to take it (the board’s support) for granted.
“I think they know the job I have done here, but I will not take their support for granted when ultimately it is the supporters who put you under pressure.
“The majority, going by the last home game anyway, are behind the team and understand what we are trying to do.
“We need a few results. It has been a disappointing start, we cannot deny that. “