Should we embrace the occasion tonight?
This poll is closed
Graham - Of course!
Let me start by saying I totally understand why people think this isn’t a derby. If we win, it’s expected, if we lose, hilarity ensues. The fact that it’s a lose-lose situation for Jack Ross’ boys nullifies that argument this is a ‘real’ Wear-Tyne derby. It’s not.
Should we take the game less seriously because of that, though? Definitely not. We’re three ties from a trip to Wembley and a potential trophy in the cabinet.
Many have perhaps unfairly labelled the Checkatrade Trophy a joke, but if we get past Newcastle U21s the chance of a final at Wembley grows closer and another night in Covent Garden beckons - you’d be hard pushed to find a Sunderland fan who wouldn’t be at least a little excited.
So whilst maybe beating Newcastle U21s is no big feat, getting to the final of any cup competition most certainly is. Whilst we’re in League One, we might as well enjoy it and part of that is our involvement in the EFL Trophy - we may as well try and win it, after all.
It didn’t do the likes of Southampton any harm, did it?
Paddy - Absolutely Not
Tonight’s match is one which I cannot wait to see the back of. Since the draw was made, the visit of Newcastle’s U21s has been rumbling under the surface. Some fans have called it a derby, with the chance to extend our good run over the old enemy from up the road. Unfortunately, this is not a derby and shouldn’t be labelled as one - it’s a fixture which in my opinion should never be taking place, but as the day is here we’ll just have to get on with it.
Jack Ross spoke in his pre-match press conference about how this match is ‘far from ideal’, and he’s not wrong. There’s no way we can ‘win’ with this match tonight. If we do come out victorious then all we’d have done is beat a team of academy and reserve players. If we lose then we would have failed to beat a team of academy and reserve players.
Not that it gets to us too much, but whatever the result there will be the usual barrage of social media comments from those up the road.
This still relatively new format of the Football League Trophy is a joke. When it was a tournament purely for League One and Two sides it was more competitive and more respectable. Tonight’s match sums up all that is wrong with this competition - a contest between a League One side and the youth players of a struggling Premier League side.