Kieran Richardson picked up the baton following Darren Bent's £24million move to Aston Villa by steering Sunderland to a 2-1 victory against Blackpool.
Richardson made the breakthrough in the 15th minute and added a second 10 minutes before half-time at Bloomfield Road.
However Sunderland had to endure a nervous last few minutes as Charlie Adam pulled a goal back in the 85th minute after David Vaughan had been nudged by Titus Bramble.
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