Sunderland fans dreaming of next season following impressive Wembley playoff success

  • ITV News Tyne Tees' Julia Barthram reports on Wearside's reaction to Sunderland's Wembley win

Sunderland fans are dreaming of what comes next following their win at Wembley and promotion back to the Championship.

The Black Cats ended their stay in League 1 on Saturday 21 May thanks to their comfortable 2-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers.

The win marks Sunderland's return to the Championship for the first time since they were relegated in 2018.

Already some fans have been posting on social media, urging their team to push on next season to try and reach the Premier League, inspired by their exploits at Wembley.

The victory in the playoff final led to a mass celebration at Trafalgar Square in London, with the landmark becoming a sea of red and white as fans partied late into the night, toasting their team's success.

  • Sunderland fans celebrate the win at Trafalgar Square

Their delight had been mirrored earlier in the day as thousands of Sunderland fans left the national stadium in a jubilant mood, determined to enjoy their team's deserved success.

The last time Sunderland won at Wembley was the EFL Trophy final, which was played behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

This time Wembley Way was awash with plenty of red and white shirts as fans headed for nearby pubs and bars to raise a glass to the victory.

  • "We are going up, we are going up": Black Cats fans in good spirits on Wembley Way

One of those who played and scored in Sunderland's EFL trophy win in March 2021 was Lynden Gooch.

The American was emotional at full time on Saturday and had tears in his eyes while saluting the supporters in the stands.

He admitted this was because he is unsure if the League 1 play-off final will be his final game for Sunderland due to his contract coming to an end.

Gooch has confirmed to ITV News Tyne Tees he plans to talk with Sunderland bosses in the days ahead to seek clarity over his future at what he calls 'his club', having been with the Black Cats since he was ten years old.

  • Lynden Gooch talks to ITV News Tyne Tees about his future with Sunderland

Sunderland boss Alex Neil was delighted to bring the good times back to the Black Cats.

Neil, who was appointed in February following Lee Johnson's surprise sacking, was proud to be the man to reverse the slide.

"When you come to a club like Sunderland, people love a fallen giant and love to stick the boot in," he said.

"It was such a challenge for me to come here because this club has hoovered up managers over the last four years, but I have always had confidence I could go to a big club.

"I'm not the one dancing around, people think I'm miserable but I'm not, I'm content.

"I'm extremely satisfied I have been able to deliver so much to so many people that it matters to and that for me is the most important thing because it has been tough for this club for a few years.

"The team talk today (Saturday) was talking about moments in your career, this is your moment in time, you could be a hero.

"For Sunderland fans, this team will be heroes and they will be remembered forever and I'm so, so pleased for them.

"It has been a really good day for us. That is the most pleasing thing for me that you could imagine."