Football phone-ins are bad for my blood pressure. Half an hour of Radio Newcastle at Saturday teatime had me fuming about the stupidity of some of our fans.
I’ve only just calmed down.
Beating the bottom side 1-0, after a few weeks in which we haven’t been particularly fluent or scored more than one goal per game, wasn’t exactly the stuff of legends. But it’s a long season and there are times when you just have to grind out results. A win, a clean sheet, three points in the bag – that’s all that matters.
However, for some fans, a win, third in the league, games in hand on the leaders, and a decent transfer window just weren’t enough. One lad came on to say that Sunderland have no chance of getting promoted. Really? No chance?
We’ve been in the top three or four all season and have strengthened in January, what’s the basis for thinking we’re going to end up outside of the play-offs?
Another lad hadn’t been at the match but declared the side rubbish and specifically had a go at Kazaiah Sterling, a player he’d never seen but who will, he argued, achieve nothing for us. I hope for the club’s sake that supporters like this spend their Saturday afternoons in B&Q from now on.
This pointless negativity is the dark side of our support. In all my time following Sunderland it’s always been the same. If we’re playing a ‘small’ club, which means almost anyone, the moaning and groaning begins about 20 minutes into the game if we haven’t scored.
“How man, we should be two up by now” should be the club’s motto.
Radio Newcastle don’t help with their tedious use of statistics to stir up a heated debate, and this week it was all about how few shots on target we’d had in January.
I’ve been busy recently, have I missed something? Do you not win games by scoring goals any more? Do we get extra points for shots? If we get two shots and score one, doesn’t that show we’ve got some clinical finishers?
I’ve seen us have 20 shots and lose, should we have got three points for trying hard?
Jack Ross continues to talk sense after games. The squad are under pressure to perform. The more experienced players can handle that but some of the younger ones cannot or are dealing with this pressure for the first time.
They can feel the tension in the crowd and they are sometimes struggling to control periods of the game when the opposition, boosted by the fact that there’s only one goal in it, flood forward in attack.
We score in every game and we are very tenacious and hard to beat - Jack Ross has laid a great foundation for promotion and I remain confident that we’ll finish in the top two.