Sunderland are well positioned to launch a genuine promotion charge after 15 League One matches.
With a game in hand on the top two, Sunderland sit in third place. And victory in their spare match would see them move to the top of the League One table on goal difference.
Getting out of the third tier will not necessarily be easy but Sunderland have a good squad and have started brightly.
And Jack Ross’ options will only get better once Charlie Wyke and Duncan Watmore return to fitness.
Ross has had to make do without two of his most dangerous attacking players.
Wyke joined in the summer from Bradford City with a high reputation for scoring goals at this level.
And indeed, he immediately endeared himself to fans. After missing the first several games through injury, Wyke netted an equaliser on his debut against Oxford United.
But in just his third league game, and first start, the 25-year-old had to be subbed off with an injury.
Once he is back to his best, he will provide competition for in-form young striker Josh Maja.
If Sunderland have both forwards firing, then goals will come very naturally.
And furthermore, Watmore will add an extra dimension on the wings. The 24-year-old only managed six appearances last year due to injury woes.
But he will be determined to get back to his best. And his non-stop running and attacking menace will surely set Sunderland on the way back to the Championship.