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The Roker Roundup: Thursday 25th February 2016


Agnew Set For Bradford Move?

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson was spotted at the Stadium of Light watching our under twenty-one's side against Middlesbrough earlier in the month, and today it has been revealed that he's very much interested in central midfielder Liam Agnew.

Agnew has been on the fringes of the first team without ever really being given a chance and, with his contract up in the summer, it's expected that the player will be allowed to leave the club, something which has alerted a number of football league managers to his availability.

Agnew was allowed to play in a friendly for Bradford against Port Vale earlier this week and scored twice, something which impressed the Bradford manager.

Parkinson told the Telegraph & Argus:

His contract is up in the summer and we asked Sunderland if he could come down and play so we could compare him with our lads.

We saw him maybe as another one to bring in now or someone to go for in the summer.

I don’t think he could have done much more in the game. He scored two goals in a very good team performance and he’s someone we are considering.

Sunderland have been very accommodating in getting him down to us and Liam’s attitude was excellent.

He had played on Sunday for Sunderland as well and did great. The lad came down, put himself up to play and to score two goals was fantastic.

Good luck to Liam, whatever happens. He's a very talented player and if he has to go elsewhere to prove himself, then so be it. You'd have to imagine the club are delaying any sort of decision on his future until they know which league we'll be playing in next season.

Bilic - Allardyce Deserves Credit

Sam Allardyce is seen as a polarising figure amongst the West Ham United supporters, with opinions on his tenure there as manager split down the middle.

Current West Ham gaffer Slaven Bilic believes that Sam deserves credit for the job he did as West Ham manager, and explained that he hopes the fans give their former manager a warm reception:

They should appreciate that he did great for West Ham, first and foremost. He took over West Ham in a moment when they were in the Championship and got them back straight away. He stabilised them in the Premier League and did an amazing job.

The fans, and everyone connected with the club, should appreciate him. I don’t know what the fans think of him, but you can’t change the facts and the facts are in his favour, big time.

Whoever says differently, then it’s not business, it’s personal. Sam did a great job here. He left me an organised training ground, some key players, he made my job a bit easier – and I appreciate it.

Do I think he will get a warm reception? I think so, and I hope so.

We spoke to a West Ham fan earlier today - you can read his thoughts on Sam, and everything else ahead of this weekend's game, here.

Adrian Speaks Of Sam Appreciation

West Ham keeper Adrian has said he owes alot to Sam Allardyce for giving him the chance to play in England.

The Spaniard was plucked from relative obscurity by Allardyce in 2013 and has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers playing in the top flight.

Sam said:

I have many reasons to thank Sam Allardyce because he brought me to West Ham United. He went to Seville to watch me in some games before he signed me.

Sunderland need to work hard to save their situation in the Premier League.

After Saturday I hope they can keep their Premier League position because I have appreciation for Sam.

For us every game in the Premier League is important, but this is especially important because we didn’t get the three points in our last league game [at Norwich] and we need another three points urgently to stay near the top of the table.

There's lots of love for the big fella coming from his old club, it seems.

N'Doye Thinks Sunderland Will Survive

Dame N'Doye has said he believes Sunderland will survive due to the strong characters we possess in our squad.

Sunderland's players are battle hardened after going through this process on countless occasions amd N'Doye feels our superior mentality will be what sees us survive.

He told

I believe (Sunderland will stay up) because of the atmosphere in the dressing room. The lads are very concentrated and they have a strong mind that they will stay up. That is very important.

The team spirit was strong at Hull also because everybody was working hard and they didn't believe they were going down. Every year, you work hard to stay in the Premier League. Nobody expects to go down, but three teams have to go.

I don't want to be relegated two seasons in a row. I did not want to be relegated at Hull, but now I have to forget about that and concentrate on this new challenge and keeping Sunderland up.

Diouf Explains Sunderland Departure

Former Sunderland forward El Hadji Diouf has explained the series of events which occured before his swift departure to Blackburn Rovers in 2009.

Diouf - know for his awful attitude and behaviour which has constantly followed him throughout his career - has said it was a dispute with Anton Ferdinand which led then manager Ricky Sbragia allowing him to leave.

He said:

We were not fighting, I sorted him out, before we were separated. I said to him, 'Let's go to the gym, I will take you on.' He did not want to. I said, 'You are like your brother... you walk like him, you eat like him - write your own story.'

Inevitably, it was difficult in terms of atmosphere, I spent six months there. We were not a team.

There were little [expletive] in the group who thought they were the best but they were crap. Anton, he was the number one [expletive].

I ignored him; that must have bothered him, so he came over to test me. I'm a man, I can defend myself.

If there is a crazy guy who wants to take me on, I'll show him that I'm crazier than him. The first of his friends who came too close to me, he ended up running away.

Since I was drinking champagne, I broke my glass and I attacked them… I came out unscathed, and since then, the club now uses plastic glasses.

What a lovely fella. Apparently he wants to become a politician in Senegal - good luck with that.

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