Our director of football David Pleat takes his regular look at our next opponents - next up, Leeds United.
LEEDS were an interesting conundrum at the start of the season because no-one was sure to exopect in as much as, will they be in a struggling position or will it be a mid-table finish?
No-one expects them to finish in the top four or five this year after the demise of the over-spending and the pieces Peter Reid has to pick up. He has to stabilise the ship.
They were a victim of, if you like, ambitious fantasy. Whatever it was, you have to feel sympathy for them and I hope they pick up and do well.
I particularly hope they do well for Kevin Blackwell. He has gone to Leeds as Peter Reid's assistant after doing it the hard way at clubs like Scarborough, Sheffield United. He was with Neil Warnock for some time and now he's at Leeds United.
I signed him as a schoolboy at Luton Town many years ago and I'm told that he's a very good, up and coming coach.
I looked at the midfield against Newcastle. I wasn't too familiar with Sakho on the left, apart from he goes well at the opposite post, good in the air. It was slightly unlikely in terms of quality and power by the high standards of the Premier League in Jody Morris, Seth Johnson and Wilcox on the left, who has had his best days.
There is so much responsibility on Alan Smith and Mark Viduka. They are goalscorers but I don't think it will be easy for Leeds this season.
Peter Reid was a very dogged midfield player with some quality. He was determined and an all-round midfielder - liked a tackle, worked hard so you would expect that in his teams. His first years at Sunderland were immensely successful but then it started to go the other way and we all know that can happen.