This week we asked our readers whether they felt Sunderland’s victory at home to Portsmouth in the first leg of the play-off semi-final had done enough to suggest that this side is capable of securing promotion.
The response was excellent yet again as fans offered their thoughts on the matter at hand in a fair and balanced manner. A selection from across social media and our website is listed below. Do you agree/disagree with anyone’s thoughts in particular?
Keep an eye out for another article later this week asking for your input once more. If you’ve got something you want to get off your chest then email us at: RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!
The first time in our history we’ve won the 1st leg of a Play Off, at the 5th time of trying, one more draw in a season of record draws away from Wembley. My only concern Thursd is us keeping 11 players on the pitch.
- Ian Harrison (@Hag_SAFC)
Ian offers a really intriguing stat that perhaps gives an indication that this side is capable of producing the goods, even when the pressure is on. The Lads played well for large spells of last week’s game, they’ll have to do the same this evening if we want to fight for a shot at promotion at Wembley.
We have a chance but we would have been happy to only lose 1-0 in the first leg down there if the roles had been reversed. Thought the second half should give the lads some confidence.
- Pat O’Hara (@patohara69)
Pat offers a realistic view in his assessment. Hopefully the Lads can emulate their second half showing on the South Coast this evening.
Why did you have to bring any thoughts of not being confident. Let’s get behind the team and let’s give our full backing to those hardy souls who will be carrying the city’s backing down to Fratton on Thursday. #KTF #STID
- Stephen Fenwick (@fenwick_stephen)
Stephen wants no negativity and insists on backing the Lads ahead of what is perhaps the biggest game in our modern history.
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Not sure. Of course my hopes are that Sunderland will be in the Championship next season. Am I confident, well I am taking a leaf out of Jack Ross’s book and I am dithering.
On the positive side we are part way there with the 1/0 win against Pompey, but the next game will be tough and much will depend on Ross’s team selection. As an example, will he select Morgan to the exclusion of Gooch? Will McGeady be available? There are loads of what ifs. All in all, I have the thought that if we attack we will get through, but if Ross tries his usual sit back tactic we will not.
Then to the next round. Last night I watched part of the Donny/Charlton game. Donny were getting beat 2-0 when I switched on, but after they scored there is no doubt that Donny were by far the better team as they ended up with lots more possession than Charlton etc. and reduced the deficit.
My hope is that Donny stuff Charlton in the next game, but if they don’t then I certainly think we can beat Charlton if we attack. Again I see Ross’s team selection and tactics as a threat.
My evaluation is 55% we will get prom but 45% we will not.
- Mordey st
Mordey st pins his hopes on Ross’ men being ambitious in their exploits this evening. Do you think Ross needs to encourage his men to take the game to Pompey?
Portsmouth are a big threat from set pieces. We need to make sure they get limited opportunities. Stating the obvious, they have to beat us to stop us going through and we have been difficult to beat barring the last two games of the season. We are very resilient. These things are decided by small margins. There is no reason why we can do it but we are much more likely to do it with Aiden McGeady. Obviously.
- Tokoloshe Man
Would Aiden McGeady’s inclusion give the side that spark of inspiration required to really put Pompey’s promotion hopes to the sword?
We are going to need a good strong ref on Thursday because Pompey have shown in the last 2 games what a horrible cheating side they are. They prefer to roll around and con refs rather than play the game, they’ll be around him from 1st minute trying to influence him. Need our experienced players to do the same and make sure we get our share of fouls. Footballwise we have them easy, gamesmanship wise I’m not so sure. And how many good refs have we had this season.
- David Nutt
David points out the need for cool heads on the pitch. Could the experience of some of Sunderland’s more senior players be crucial this evening?
Showing a bit of bottle is great, but to avoid defeat against Pompey again, and then go on to beat Charlton will require more quality, which we lack.
- Steve Parkinson
Steve, however, thinks we lack the quality to guarantee promotion. Is ‘bottle’ a large percentage of what’s needed, though, or do you agree with Steve’s assertion that the team lacks quality?
Always thought we’d beat Portsmouth but Charlton are going to be a tougher proposition.
My prediction: Lose to Charlton at Wembley in 90 minutes.
- Steven Nicholson
Steven brings some pessimism to the table, predicting another loss at Wembley to Charlton. Could this be the year we find our revenge?
Be positive. If we play as in first half at Wembley for 90 minutes we will beat Portsmouth and Charlton or Doncaster. We need to take the few chances that we make.
- Keith Wallace
Keith, on the other hand, thinks as long as we play good football, we will win anyone we face in the play-offs. Agree with his summation?