A quick glance at the replies to Sunderland's pre-match tweet '46/46' tells you everything you need to know about the mood in the Black Cats fanbase heading into the final game of the season.

A Sheffield Wednesday side, oozing with confidence and just a point away from guaranteeing their Championship status for next season, lie in wait.

The statistic that Sunderland could finish just three points above the Owls, if the visitors win on the final day of the season, as damning a statistic you'll read all season.

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The work Danny Rohl and his coaching staff have done at Hillsborough since arriving has been nothing short of a miracle. Not just on the pitch, but off it as well.

As Dom Howson put across perfectly in our Morning Briefing on Wednesday, the German head coach has built up an incredible reputation with the Owls fanbase, papering over the cracks of a fractured relationship between club and supporters. Dejphon Chansiri may still be the villain at Hillsborough, but his decision to appoint rookie manager Rohl will go down as a masterstroke.

The 35-year-old is one of a number of coaches linked with the vacant managerial role at the Stadium of Light this summer and he's set for talks with the Owls owner to thrash out details about next season.

Recent comments about pre-season plans in Sheffield, suggest it's unlikely Rohl will depart Hillsborough this summer, and while Sunderland may not be making a move for the upcoming coach, they could learn a thing or two from his short tenure with the Owls.

"Whoever comes into this position, I said it previously when I took over from Tony, they're coming into a good dressing room, they're good guys, they've given me everything up to this point," interim head coach Mike Dodds said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Watford.

"I felt they let themselves down in the Blackburn game and I think one or two of the players have come out and publicly held their hands up to that. But I've always said as head coach, if I'm going to point the finger at the players there are going to be three fingers pointed back at me.

"I think the next head coach is going to have a really good dressing room, a talented dressing room. It needs a little bit more depth probably. But I think the next person, as long as he's genuine and authentic and he's honest with the fans, that's really the kind of foundations any Sunderland fan can ask for.

"Because this club has such a huge support base, communication and clarity - whether the fans like what they hear is a completely separate conversation or issue - but one thing I have learnt in this role is just be really genuinely open and honest and authentic. Some people will like that, some people won't. But one thing they'll never label at you is you're toeing the party line."

We Are Sunderland: Sheffield Wednesday head coach Danny Rohl.Sheffield Wednesday head coach Danny Rohl. (Image: PA Images)

Rohl has undoubtedly been authentic during his time at Sheffield Wednesday, and that's played its part in generating a brilliant rapport in such a short space of time with the Owls faithful. In fact, the same needs to be applied at Sunderland. After listening to Howson speak on our briefing, it's easy to see why the German was at least considered by the Black Cats.

Apathy has set in among sections of the red and white fanbase this season, with some supporters opting to stay away from the Stadium of Light as the season spiralled out of control. Dodds has done his best to keep the ship afloat, but there can be no denying there needs to be a huge effort behind the scenes to rebuild confidence in a young group this summer, connection with the fanbase and improve on recent performances.

Paul Heckingbottom - the man who guided Barnsley and Sheffield United to promotion - and Will Still are two of the names linked with the vacant managerial hotseat, while former Leeds United coach and current Bayern Munich U19s boss Rene Maric has also been linked with a move to Wearside in recent days.

Heckingbottom, a man with previous ties to Wearside has Championship promotion on his CV and while some may turn their noses up at his appointment, the former Blades boss did exactly what was asked of him. Return Sheffield United to the Premier League.

As for Still, the reported compensation package Stade de Reims demanded in the winter is now null and void after the 31-year-old left the French outfit earlier this afternoon. He may not have promotion on his CV, but there's a sense his appointment would welcome a new approach from the Black Cats hierarchy.

Sunderland have done the tried and tested route with Alex Neil and Tony Mowbray - with both appointments delivering, I might add - Kyril Louis-Dreyfus' ownership has always felt like it was going to change tact at some point. With the compensation hurdle removed, it would allow the Black Cats to appoint Still, should they choose to, soon after the Championship finale.

We Are Sunderland understands the club hierarchy are keen on appointing a new head coach quickly after the current campaign draws to a close. The need for renewed optimism heading into next season is vital.

An approach for Maric would draw comparisons to Rohl at Wednesday. But similarly, would bring it's risks. The Austrian coach has no experience of leading a senior side, spending the majority of his campaign as a number two at Red Bull Salzburg, Borussia Monchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund and Leeds United. Big clubs on CV despite his young coaching career.

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Maric and Still would be bold appointments, but exciting ones should they pay off. Heckingbottom a safe pair of hands who knows exactly what the Championship is all about.

It was interesting to hear John Terry say he'd been turned down by Sunderland during their time in League One due to a lack of experience. The latter two of the three candidates listed have no experience in the second tier, but could well be the gamble that gets the Black Cats' jets firing again.

Sunderland need someone who can develop youngsters, repair the bond between club and fans, manage expectations and ultimately deliver on the pitch while working within the financial parameters imposed on the club. The club's recent financial reports show they're still some way off competing with recently relegated Premier League sides and have to continue to stick to their long-term plans.