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Sunderland 1 City 2

Often a poor run of results or form is ended by something rather fortunate, and in the end yesterday we had not one, but two slices of luck to get us back to winning ways.

By concensus a rather drab game was brought to life in the final fifteen minutes with three goals that swa us come away with maximum points to hopefully ignite a late season run of form to overcome Aston Villa for the Inter-Toto position.

Firstly, substitute Daniel Sturridge won a penalty after appearing to foul himself which Elano duly converted only for Dean Whitehead to volley home unmarked minutes later. However, another substitute - Darius Vassell, ran onto an Elano through ball only to mis-kick completely, yet the ball managed to trickle past a helpless Craig Gordon to seal the points.

It was perhaps just as well that Vassell's goal did earn us the points (although his 'sharp-shooter' celebration was a touch misplaced) as Sunday's headlines were focusing on the reports that Thaksin is potentially considering firing Sven at the end of the season - or at the very least given a warning that recent results have not been what is expected.

Given that the attempts to prise Ronaldinho away from Milan's clutches seemed to be led by Thaksin and not Sven, it could well be that with his legal troubles in his homeland eased, Thaksin may be set to take a prominent hands on role in the running of the club - including transfer policy. Given his admitted lack of football knowledge, this could be a not too palatable prospect, and one which those who had at least a scepticism when he took over would not relish.

The win though at least gives us some heart heading into the final handful of games as we look to take a hold of seventh position to earn our highest Premier League finish, highest points total and European qualification.