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FAN FOCUS: Steven Carroll From SOS Fanzine Talks Swans v Black Cats

Today's fan focus sees @GRokerReport talk with Steven Carroll, the editor of Swansea City fanzine 'Swansea Oh Swansea'. With both teams threatened with the prospect of relegation, it's arguably the biggest game of the season thus far for either side.

Paul Thomas/Getty Images

This game, it’s fair to say, can be viewed as a relegation six-pointer. How important do you think it is for Swansea to win this game?

You can say that again! I'm looking at is as a must win game.

We're struggling for goals, so to play a side at home that struggles to keep them out offers us one of our best chances to get three points closer to survival. Over the next few weeks our games are not too bad - after your visit we have Watford at home, followed by trips to Everton and West Brom, and then another home double header with Palace and Southampton. At the end of that spell we will have a better idea of how much trouble we are in.

I have to admit I saw the vine that went around of Jonjo Shelvey on Sunday looking barely arsed at the fact his time was losing and was shocked at how little he appeared to care. Despite him signing a new contract in the summer do you feel that his time at the club is up, with a move to Newcastle apparently around the corner?

The Oxford game is still a sore subject at the moment, as you can imagine. I was on my way home from the game when I first saw that clip, and it is extremely frustrating. I mean, we were staring humiliation in the face, and then when you see one of your players isn't giving 100% it really does drive you insane.

Sadly, he isn't the only one whose heart doesn't appear to be in it, and that is a key reason as to why we are where we are.

Is his time up? Probably, but we have to be careful - selling him to Newcastle would be very irresponsible. On his day he can be brilliant, and if he goes there and hits form it could send us down. If he's going to leave then we need to send him to a club that is further up the league.

What positives can be drawn from your season thus far – does any particular moment or game stand out?

There haven't been many, to be honest, once you look past the first four games. We battered Chelsea on day one and should have won really, then beat Manchester United at the end of August to give us eight points from the first four games. At that stage everyone was thinking another excellent season was on the cards.

But, since then, we've only won twice and scored a pathetic ten goals in sixteen games. And now, of course, we've been dumped out of the Cup by a team three divisions below us - you'll have to forgive me for not taking many positives from the campaign so far!

If you could take one player from the Sunderland squad and put him in your team, who would you have and why?

As I've alluded to, we can't hit a barn door, and finding someone who can is a top priority. Therefore, it would have to be Jermain Defoe. With over one hundred Premier League goals to his name at various clubs a player like him would help us move up the table.

Do you think either team will be relegated to the Championship come May?

It's looking precarious for both. If Swansea fail to sign a striker than I think we are in real trouble. Aside from the nightmare at Oxford, performances have improved under Alan Curtis, and we've become harder to beat.

Whether that will continue, though, remains to be seen. A lot may depend on if you can put a run together to put us under pressure. Sunderland have taken over from Wigan when it comes to the great escape in the last couple of years. I think it might be harder for you this time, although if anyone can haul you out then it's probably Sam Allardyce. I think at least one of our sides will go down - which one remains to be seen at this stage.

When you think back to games against Sunderland in the past which one stands out to you?

This game almost always seems to end in a draw, so I'd have to go with our 4-0 win in October 2013 which included a cracker from Jonathan De Guzman. There was a good 2-2 at the Liberty in August 2012 as well when Chico nearly took Louis Saha's head off. My only trip to the Stadium of Light was four years ago when you won thanks to two great strikes from Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner respectively. My main memory of that day is how cold it was!

Former Sunderland loanee Ki Sung Yeung left our club under a bit of a cloud and returned to South Wales as a first team regular. How has he fared so far this season?

Last year he excelled, he played like he had a point to prove and ended up winning the player of the year award. This year though he's been one of many players who have badly under-performed. He scored eight last season - he has only one this term and it's partly because he hasn't been making as many runs into the box.

We need him and others to start stepping up.

Which player should Sunderland be particularly fearful of ahead of Wednesday’s game?

Andre Ayew is our top scorer, so I'd say it's him. He's been up front recently but is usually wide right and loves to get into the box, and scores quite a few headers for someone who isn't that tall thanks to his great leap. He hasn't scored for a while though, so hopefully he is due a goal or two.

Similarly, who from the Sunderland squad do you think has the ability to trouble Swansea?

Adam Johnson is a player I've always rated, although I'm not sure if he's ever really fulfilled his potential. Defoe, as I've alluded to, is your biggest goal threat - he scored a nice goal in our fixture last term. I'm also wary of ex-players, so Fabio Borini and Danny Graham could come back to haunt us.

How do you see the game panning out – do you think it’ll be a fairly open affair or do you suspect it’ll be tight and hard to call?

I think Sunderland will come with a mentality of making sure you don't lose. Allardyce knows defeat would be a big setback so I'm guessing he will sit deep and look to hit us on the counter and target set pieces. Therefore, the onus will be on us to try and break you down.

Finally, can you give us a score prediction please?

I can see either 1-0 Swansea or 0-0. I'll go with the former, more in hope than expectation.

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