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Copy from Football Unlimited of 27/12/2006.
This always had the potential to be a significant day on Wearside, one when a serious question was going to be asked of each of these famous clubs: are Sunderland doing enough to convince supporters who have drifted away that they are genuine promotion candidates, and are Leeds United too good to go down? The answers given were Yes, maybe, and No.
Only two clubs in England, Manchester United and Chelsea, had larger attendances than the 40,116 here yesterday, suggesting a rise in local belief that Sunderland have enough to start a winning fight among the pack chasing Birmingham City at the top of the Championship.
Ultimately, the vast majority of them left happy that another home win, the fourth in a row, had taken Sunderland to within seven points of second-placed Preston North End, who visit here on Saturday. But whether they were convinced by much of the home side's play is another matter. Although the manager, Roy Keane, said afterwards that it was a "good performance" that was a stretch. But what Sunderland do possess is determination.