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Fan Focus: Advice for Sunderland in League One & how good has former Mackem Alfred N’Diaye been?

Joy of joys! We get to play Premier League bound Wolves on the final day, as we plummet into League One. Rich from the Wolves Fancast joins us to talk about promotion, holding on to Ruben Neves and whether or not Sunderland can bounce back from League One, like Wanderers did.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

RF: Alright, I’ll let you get your gloating in nice and early. You’ve romped your way to promotion and will be back in the Premier League next season. A lot of pundits have suggested that Wolves would have coped fine in the top flight this season, and looking at the state of the bottom half of the division, it’s hard to disagree. So how do you see next season going?

Rich: Looking at the teams in the bottom half of the table and how well the likes of Newcastle (sorry guys) have done this season, most fans seem optimistic about about chances of a good campaign next season.

Given the fact it’s inevitable we’re likely to invest heavily in the team as well, the general consensus is were likely to finish mid table.

RF: Ruben Neves is attracting a lot of attention after an outstanding season. Are you confident that you’ll hang on to him? If not, are you hopeful that the club will spend again to get a player of similar quality?

Rich: I think he’s likely to stay for at least another year. I can’t see many clubs who can afford going in for him until he has some English top flight experience.

A player of his style is fundamental to how Wolves play, but I have every faith we can adequately replace him when his inevitable departure comes.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

RF: While you’re Premier League bound, we’re heading to League One, a division you found yourselves in not too long ago! Given that Wolves have turned things around, what do Sunderland need to do to emulate that success and can you see us doing it?

Rich: When Wolves went down, Kenny Jackett very effectively pushed all the high earners out the squad, used players from the youth system and bought in a couple of new experienced senior players to set the tone.

It will be a tough job to get the likes of Rodwell and Cattermole out, but Sunderland need to basically tear up the team and start again as all the majority of that team know is failure.

RF: On a lighter note, how’s the lovable Alfred N’Diaye been for you this season?

Rich: He’s probably not played as much as he’d have liked with Saiss being preferred over him for large parts of the season. He’s great at driving forward, but his passing isn’t quite as sharp, and he’s a bit of a walking yellow card.

When the going got tough at points in the season, he always chipped in with big performances and crucial goals. I can’t see us signing him permanently for next season, though.

Birmingham City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

RF: I guess we should talk about the game even though it’s utterly meaningless. Do you see Nuno rotating things at all and giving a few fringe players a run out? Or will he be an absolute bastard and beat this sorry squad down even further?

Rich: He didn’t really change the team last week, or throughout the season really.

We have some great players on the brink of the starting 11 who I’d like to see get a run out, but I’d be surprised if the likes of Neves and Jota didn’t start.

RF: Can we have a score prediction to finish off please?

Rich: 2-0 to Wolves.

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