Saturday, win 4-1 at home with your centre-forward scoring all four goals. Wednesday, triumph in a penalty shoot-out to book a place at Wembley. Thursday, complete an eagerly-awaited takeover, ushering in a new owner with access to a billion-dollar trust fund. The following Saturday, cruise to a 3-0 away win and return to the play-off positions. To paraphrase a famous beer company after a win against the Brewers, if Sunderland did footballing weeks, they’d probably look a lot like this.

As he watched on from the back row of the main stand at the Pirelli Stadium at the weekend, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus must have been wondering what all the fuss was about. So much for the Black Cats being a cursed club, bedeviled by Niall Quinn’s ‘Gremlins’. At this rate, Sunderland’s ambitious 23-year-old owner will have his new project turned around in no time.

Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven, accompanying him in an adjacent row at Burton, would no doubt counsel caution. It is easy to forget now, but the duo’s arrival on Wearside was also trumpeted as a transformative moment back in 2018, with supporters eager to celebrate the end of the Ellis Short era. After a positive start, it did not take long for things to turn sour, so while Louis-Dreyfus might have much deeper pockets than his fellow shareholders, it would be naïve to assume the Frenchman will not have to negotiate bumps in the road.

Nevertheless, after years and years of relentless misery, why shouldn’t Sunderland supporters find themselves finally daring to dream? A new era has begun, and for the moment at least, the possibilities are thrilling.

“Within the squad, it’s important that we flatten the waves,” said Lee Johnson, mindful of the need to keep internal expectations in check given that, for all the excitement of the last few days, he continues to preside over a team eight points adrift of the automatic promotion positions. “We’re not superheroes all of a sudden, we have to keep on keep pulling out results, we have to keep churning out professional perfomances like this, and we have to keep our focus.

“The club is definitely moving forward, and the club is moving towards better days and better times, but in the meantime, we have to do our jobs and win football matches.”

Given that the transfer window has closed, it will be Johnson not Louis-Dreyfus that is primarily responsible for determining how things turn out this season. Saturday’s victory over a Burton side propping up the rest of League One, and that was reduced to ten men with more than half-an-hour remaining, was something of a minimum requirement, but it still contained plenty of positive signs for the Black Cats boss.

The performance of his makeshift defence was reassuring given that Bailey Wright’s calf injury is more serious than initially thought, with Dion Sanderson continuing the development that has been gathering pace for a while now and Luke O’Nien once again showcasing the versatility that makes him such a key asset.

Max Power dominated the engine room, and further forward, Sunderland bristled with attacking intent. Aiden McGeady claimed yet another assist as he rolled a short free-kick to Grant Leadbitter, who opened the scoring, and Lynden Gooch, whose marauding runs down the right were a key feature of Sunderland’s first-half attacking, added a second goal with a rising drive. Charlie Wyke added his sixth goal in the last three games to round off the win, sweeping home a first-time finish.