Sunderland dropped crucial points in the race for League One promotion this weekend as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Wycombe.
In a bitter blow to the Black Cats and their hopes of bouncing back to the Championship immediately, the results also saw second placed Barnsley take all three points in their home tie with Accrington.
And we here in the Tavern feel this could be a pivotal weekend in the race for the top two, and that it might just be the week when Sunderland finally say goodbye to their chances of automatic promotion.
For one, Barnsley are on a fine run of form, and having not lost at home all season under manager Daniel Stendel, there’s a growing feeling inside the South Yorkshire club that they can get themselves back into the second tier at Sunderland’s expense.
While Sunderland manager Jack Ross has done a good job in the main since arriving in the summer, the loss of Josh Maja in the January window could prove to be a bitter blow which even the signing of Will Grigg fails to sort out.
Grigg is of course a proven goalscorer at this level, but in Maja they had a player who had the unknown about him, with his pace and power mixed with his raw ability causing problems galore for defences.
Sunderland do remain in contention to win one of the coveted automatic promotion spots, but as discussed, it could well be a crucial weekend like this which ultimately decides the promotion race.
Black Cats fans, what do you think? Have you blown your chances? Let us know your thoughts!