Behind Enemy Lines: Sunderland

Behind Enemy Lines: Sunderland

Honestly, how good was Sunday?! I still haven’t calmed down fully yet!

Let’s hope that we can continue our fantastic run, and hopefully our march towards number 20, with a win against stuttering Sunderland tomorrow.

Ahead of the game I spoke to the brilliant @Sare86 on O’Neill, Fletcher, relegation and the game.

Thanks to Sarah for her time.

What are your thoughts on your start to the season? Is relegation a genuine worry?

Honestly, no. Sadly I’ve seen us relegated a few times over the years, and this just doesn’t feel like a relegation side. There’s been a positive buzz round Sunderland the last week (there’s nowt quite like beating the second worst team in the league to give you a boost haha!). But seriously, I’m hopeful we can turn things around, though we’ve some real tough fixtures coming up, my rose tinted glasses are well and truly on….

What do you think has been the main problem with the team so far? You’ve certainly got the players to be much higher up the table than you currently are.

Lack of confidence, lack of depth; seems we have a squad of “squad-players” to a certain degree.

What have you made of your new signings so far?

Fletcher good, Rose excellent, Cuellar moderate but getting better.

How far do you think the team is from what you would like to see?

Two inventive midfield players..

Is Martin O’Neill the right manager for you long term?

As he said recently “Not only am I the best man for the job, but the only one”. Yes, it’s been a shaky season so far; on the pitch the results have tested my sanity, while off the pitch there have been rumours regarding O’Neill’s position. But I have great faith in him, he knows where we are aiming to be and also where we deserve to be. I’m certain he’ll get us there.

I have a theory that O’Neill is finding it difficult without his long term assistant John Robertson by his side. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it’s playing a part?

There was talk in the summer about MON wanting to bring John Robertson to Sunderland, but in all honesty, I don’t think it’s an issue. Robertson has personal commitments that obviously take priority, so we’ll see what happens in the future.

Onto the game, who do you think will win and what will the score be?

Man United, 2-1.

What is your favourite memory from this fixture?

1996 2-2 draw in the Cup when we were in Championship…

1999 2-2 at Stadium of Light when we were robbed by a diving Solskjaer…

13/5/2012 – but forget the Poznan, most Sunderland fans were gutted you didn’t win the league last season..

To be honest, I’ve tons of great memories from this fixture; I’ve got a load of United supporting mates down your way and we always have a cracking time before and after the match. Though most of my memories include a hell of a lot of Guinness, a pub called The Rose in Oldham and trying to teach your lot chants from Roker Park; “All together now… LEE HOWEY, LEE HOWEY, LEE HOWEY, YOUR BROTHER IS A C……..!!!”

Where will you cause United the most problems?

Probably by letting your opponents beat us throughout the season!

Which United players will cause you the most problems?

Welbeck, who learnt his trade at Sunderland, of course!

Where will you finish this season?


Where will United finish this season?



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