There has not been much to smile about at Sunderland this season. It has been another drab campaign at the Stadium of Light, with first Simon Grayson and now Chris Coleman failing to turn around the fortunes of an ailing side.
Sunderland are now looking doomed to relegation and League One beckons. With that in mind, it is time to start looking toward next season and what could be some positives for Sunderland.
Whilst relegation will be a big blow, they can also be hopeful that some of their young players will step up and take advantage of a chance at a lower level.
One player who will be hoping to do just that is Tom Beadling. The Australian youth international headed to Dunfermline Athletic of the Scottish Championship in January on loan until the end of the season.
Since his move to Scotland, he has shown some great form for The Pars. Working under former Sunderland midfielder Allan Johnston he has shown a new sign of his game north of the border.
The 22-year-old, who is best known as a central defender, has adapted to playing in what is often an attacking midfield role with the Scottish side.
When he made the move to Dunfermline, the Chronicle reported this was the end of his Sunderland career, with his contract expiring in the summer.
But given he has performed well and added an extra string to his bow, Sunderland must surely consider keeping him on for at least one more year.
Cost-cutting is expected at the Stadium of Light this summer, but the 22-year-old’s salary is unlikely to be a major burden on affairs on Wearside.
Sunderland could have a very useful player on their hands for League One if the were to keep Beadling on past the summer. But if not, he will undoubtedly have suitors after his good form in Scotland.