Dear Roker Report,
Whilst returning home by train from the Coventry game I noticed two Coles cranes standing in a yard just north of Sheffield. Both were in their distinctive yellow colours, and appeared to be in excellent condition.
As a Pallion lad I knew some men who worked on the manufacture of this type of crane, and I was particularly proud that a product that had been designed and constructed by Sunderland men had been so successful, and in great demand both at home and abroad.
What I wondered were the factors that created such success?
After a fair bit of thought I concluded that there were in fact 4 attributes for their success.
1 - they were strong, 2 - they were hard working, 3 - they were reliable, and 4 - they were of a high quality.
With nowt else to do my mind wandered towards considering how the players that I had just watched measured up to those success factors, so here goes...
1, Strength - I don’t think that there will be very much disagreement with my conclusion that the physical strength of the squad is a weakness and that has contributed to the loss of valuable points.
2, Hard Working - Certainly I cannot grumble about the effort that each player contributes. They are without doubt committed to the cause.
3, Reliability - Regretfully I have to say that this a failure for a number of players and is major factor in the goals against column.
4, Quality - There are quality negatives so far as many of the players are concerned. Again this is apparent in many facets of the game… ball control, tackling, passing etc. The result of which has been games lost to inferior opposition, Oxford and Burton being prime examples.
I can only hope that as time goes by that the weaknesses that are so apparent will be rectified quickly, because unless this happens the magnificent fans whose company I shared will unfortunately have to suffer the football in the third tier for longer than they deserve.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: This is a viable concern, one that I too share. Teams that get promoted learn quickly from their mistakes, and a win on Tuesday night is vitally important.
We’ve only won one in five and that’s not really good enough. I feel like Saturday’s game was one that we should have won - we certainly had chances - but ultimately we were bullied for large parts of the game due to the sheer fact the majority of our players aren’t quick or big enough. Coventry recognised this and made sure that they got into us, thus limiting our ability to pass and move the ball in the way that we usually like to.
What I would say, though, is that we mustn’t panic. We’re still right up there at the top end of the table and a good result on Tuesday will put the belief right back into the people who are worried about how things are progressing.