Sunderland escape Molineux with a welcome point despite Lee Cattermole's best efforts at derailing the afternoon. The visitors saw little of the ball but were resolute enough to keep a clean sheet and earn a draw.
Lee Cattermole earns this evening's headlines after crowning his dire season to date with a gormless brain fart to earn two yellows inside two minutes and receive his marching orders just after the hour mark at Wolves this afternoon.
Sunderland had been solid all game and displayed sufficient resolution to maintain their shape and earn an unlikely goalless draw. Hardly a classic but Chris Coleman will be encouraged by his side's new found battling qualities in adversity whilst opposition boss Nuno was left to vent his angst at the Black Cats tough-in-the-tackle display.
Here's our five first thoughts from Wolves 0 Sunderland 0
Lee Cattermole is surely finished
Catts has been appalling this season. End of. But he managed to plumb new depths with this afternoon's showing. Caught in possession two minutes after his first yellow card, he left Wolves dangerman Diogo Jota in a heap trying to rectify his error only to receive a second booking and be sent off.
Cattermole might not have been dismissed for a few years but his upcoming suspension may be a blessing for next week's home game against Fulham. Club and player surely need to make a clean break in January and start again. Sadly, few sides who might fancy taking a chance on the 29-year-old are likely to be willing to stump up the wages he's on at Sunderland. Something needs to give with Cattermole sadly, one way or another.
Gibson again looks decent on the road
The Black Cats already limited options in midfield may have reduced again with Cattermole's enforced omission next weekend but Darron Gibson again looked useful for the second away game in a row.
Perhaps coyed by his summer drunken rant and general unpopularity amongst the Sunderland support, Gibson has offered little when turning out at the Stadium of Light. But he displayed his finer qualities again this afternoon at Molineux with a decent range of passing and displaying an authority when on the ball. His performance adds to a decent showing at Burton and offers some hope that he can yet prove useful.
Coleman > Grayson
Yet more evidence that Simon Grayson was largely inept during his brief Stadium of Light tenure as Sunderland lined up with three centre-halves this afternoon in a generally effective fashion for the first time under Chris Coleman.
The former Wales boss employed similar systems with success during his time as international team boss but when Grayson attempted it at Sunderland earlier in the season, the results were catastrophic.
Browning, Wilson and O'Shea proved they can work together in a coordinated three at the heart of defence and with a little more time for Coleman to fashion them, this system now has potential for the Black Cats in future games.
Youngsters continue to show the way
It was the younger lads in the side who again impressed this afternoon. Tyias Browning began a little hesitantly as he settled into the central defensive trio but grew into the game and defended with aplomb. He's nigh on Sunderland's best defender and is enjoying a decent season on loan here.
Donald Love came in from the cold and did alright in his first Championship appearance of the campaign to restore a little hope that he can come good for Sunderland and George Honeyman exerted plenty of effort to keep the Black Cats ticking along.
It was good to see Elliot Embleton get a run out from the bench too but Lynden Gooch staked a claim to be named man-of-the-match after a lively outing to aid Sunderland in taking the pressure off those behind him.
There'll have to be plenty more afternoons like this
It's quite clear that this Sunderland side needs months of work to evidence any significant improvement and Chris Coleman will need at least two transfer windows to revolutionise the side into his own image and rid the damage done by Moyes and Grayson.
But if the Black Cats attempted to shoot themselves in the foot again, this time courtesy of Cattermole's crass red, the fact that the side battled and frustrated a skillful Wolves outfit offers plenty of reason for optimism.
At times Sunderland were niggly but they played a percentage game when giving away fouls to disrupt the home side's rhythm. Under Grayson the Lads were a soft touch and played without any sign of the ruthlessness needed to lift the club away from the bottom three.
Chris Coleman seems to have addressed this quickly but there'll need to be plenty of ugly points picked up like this before the end of the season to have us free from the threat of relegation.