Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven appeared on the Roker Rapport podcast earlier today - you can listen to that in full later on this evening (full details down below) - and during the chat, they discussed Sunderland’s aims for next season following the devastating play-off final defeat to Charlton Athletic.
While Donald has admitted that everyone at the club has made mistakes, he says that every part of the season will be dissected with the aim of coming out next season and targeting 100 points:
No-one has not made mistakes. I’ve made mistakes, I am sure Jack [Ross] will turn around and say he has made mistakes, I am sure the players will.
The question is, have we made too many? Are we making the same ones continually? Are we learning from where we are going wrong? Are we realistic about really where we were?
We’ve got to dissect all of that and say what are we going to do to make sure we get or aim for 100 points next year? Because we know that 100 points is going to get us up and we’ve got to be as sure damn that we can be that we’re going to get 100 points.
Although that last-gasp defeat to Charlton was a massive blow to the club, Donald says that promotion may have papered over a few cracks in the current squad but we may be stronger for it when promotion to the Championship is achieved:
We probably may have left ourselves an awful lot to do with this squad to get it Championship ready. So it might be like lots of teams, going up might have papered over a few cracks because you think ‘well maybe we are a bit better than we are’.
So not going up, although it feels gutting now, as long as we learn from what we’ve done wrong and we improve, we might go up a bit stronger.
Methven agreed with his fellow board member’s 100 point target and says he does not want to hear excuses from anyone, only statements and targets that will see the club break that 100 point barrier, an amount that should be expected from a team that spends twice as much as any other club in the division:
I’m more of a viewer and I’ll be interested to see what the view is, in terms of how we’re going to change things going forward.
If the answer is a bunch of excuses, then I’ll roll my eyes and think this ain’t going to work.
If, on the other hand, it’s a bunch of positive, focused ‘this is where I got it wrong, this is what we ARE going to do better’.
As Stew says, you’ve got to think about it being a 100 point season next year. There’s no point trying to squeak 90 points again because you’re running a risk of a bounce of a ball or a couple of injured players derailing you.
You’ve got to think in terms of this season was a learning experience and we’re going to learn from it but going into next season, ultimately, even if a few of the financial bits and bobs - which Stew will talk about later on - go our way and our wage bill does come down a bit, we will still be spending more than twice as much as any other club in the division.
Now, if you look at all the other divisions and think about the clubs who spend twice as much as everybody else, they would absolutely expect to win that division with 100 points.
Man City don’t spend twice as much as Liverpool, Man City don’t spend twice as much as teams who even finish seventh or eighth and they get 100 points.
So we’ve got to be clear, there’s no point - as Stew said - sitting here and saying what just happened just now is acceptable. It’s not acceptable to us, it’s not acceptable to the fans.
So, moving forward, that’s our aim and everything has to be built towards achieving that aim.
You can listen to the latest edition of the Roker Rapport podcast with Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven later this evening - a podcast that is by far the longest one with Sunderland’s owners yet - as they discuss their first season in charge, their aims for next season, the financial situation surrounding the club and player contracts, as well as much, much more.