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Fan Letters: “Sunderland owner Stewart Donald and the fans have been absolutely brilliant!”

“The one constant all season have been the fans and the owners. They have been brilliant this season, absolutely brilliant. The chairman is doing everything he can and a cracking job from my point of view” writes RR reader Paul Eden. Email us:!

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Dear Roker Report,

What’s with Sunderland fans at the minute. The amount of letters from fans somehow suggesting that it’s partly our own fault for expecting too much is a joke.

People are saying let’s get behind the lads - sorry we have been all season.

Now we are getting letters in asking if we have not learned our lessons and we shouldn’t be criticising the manager. Are we not ambitious? This season should have resulted in promotion with the resources Mr Ross has had at his disposal, no one will convince me otherwise on that.

We have even had comments that the atmosphere is not helping with suggestions that we get a drum.... I even heard some comments that the atmosphere didn’t help the players second half at Wembley..... blah blah blah.

The one constant all season have been the fans and the owners. They have been brilliant this season, absolutely brilliant. The chairman is doing everything he can and a cracking job from my point of view.

The fans, well as usual they are the best, 46000 on Boxing Day, over 41000 against Portsmouth and countless 30000 plus this season at home. That’s without the magnificent away support.

These are league 1 attendances that are dwarfing some premier league clubs but also top clubs in Europe. Sorry but let’s stop looking at ourselves and look at the real issue.

Jack Ross and the players, it’s time for some payback for our loyalty from them for the countless seasons of heartbreak. They need to man up. I don’t want to hear any weight of expectation on their shoulders speech from Jack Ross, or they are tired from a long season, or their is a lack of belief or confidence.

Sorry grow a pair and fight for the shirt and the fans for once. Remember just like you did at the beginning of the season. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves and repay the faith the fans and chairman have put in you.

The fans will be with you all the way as they have been all season - the ball is in your court lads, turn it around and show the class and bottle that we keep hearing about that we have on paper. Stuff Portsmouth and Charlton in the playoffs.

Make yourselves heroes lads.

Paul Eden

Ed’s Note [Gav]: For the most-part I’d say the majority of the players have given it their all. Kieron Brady made a good point on this week’s Podcast - that it’s unfair to judge the players collectively when discussing their mentality/bottle. For whilst Sunderland’s defence have been largely poor, the attack and midfield have dragged us through a lot of games. It must cripple the likes of Aiden McGeady when he’s scoring goals out of nothing only for the defence behind him to let us down time after time.

But, they win as a team and lose as a team. We have to hope that the better and more experienced players can somehow galvanise the squad this week to the point where we go into that Portsmouth game refreshed and refocused.

EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Image

Dear Roker Report,

Is it just me or is anyone else getting tired of reading articles and fans letters stating that it is deemed a failure that we have not achieved automatic promotion and that a club such as ours should be walking this league?

Lets not forget that just because Sunderland are a club with a big stadium, big fan base and rich history, does not entitle us to walk any league. We are in league 1 for a reason and up until now, we have not achieved automatic promotion for a reason - simply, we have not been good enough or competitive enough at this level.

Just because we spend 3 million quid on a striker does not entitle us to walk this league. Look at Man United and the money at their disposal, they still have not done very well compared to their own standards this season.

I’m not knocking Sunderland or the fans but we have to be real here - we do not have any automatic entitlement to success just because we deem ourselves too good for this league. The truth is, we are in league 1 and we have been poor for large amounts of this season. For me, we are right where we deserve to be based on recent performances and no amount of money or fan base can change that.

Liam Maynard

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I totally agree - we are not entitled to success. It has to be earned. For what it’s worth I think that people are right to be angry that we didn’t go up automatically because for a small handful of variables we’d be sat in an automatic spot. We had numerous chances to enter the top two across the season and managed to blow it every time. We drew far too many games and had we just won a few of them we’d be going up.

But... we didn’t.

Promotion can still happen but it won’t be money or fanbase or stadium size that gets us there. It’ll be good man-management, tactical discipline and motivation.

If we get there then great, but if we don’t it’ll be because there was someone more deserving. And then we go again next year, wiser and stronger hopefully as a result.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I read with dismay the recent letters questioning the owners commitment to the club, the calls for sackings and new blood. So I felt the need to write to you to help balance the reported views that supporters have.

I appreciate that all fans are entitled to an opinion and that a number of them feel short changed from their investment in the club this season in terms of time, money and undying support. We all want instant results and success in this fast world of ours, but sadly life just isn’t like that.

These fans seem to have forgotten that Short changed; he went through roughly two managers per season for about 10 years and that’s how we ended in this mess!

I want Sunderland to be successful as much as the next fan, but surely we all have to realise that true success takes time. We can’t keep changing owners, managers and teams every season and expect to be back in the premiership in two years time.

Who would want to join Sunderland if we continued like that? I tell you who; the same mercenaries who bled us dry for 10 seasons, looking for a quick buck without any loyalty or devotion to the club that we love. I don’t want to see that ever again.

So let’s give the current owners and JR time. 12 months is not enough time for anyone to turn this great club around. They invested in us when few others would. So let’s invest in them and give our full support.

Keep the faith, get behind our club and we will back were we belong before you know it.

Haway the lads.

Les Coates

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I’ve been banging that drum for a few weeks now really. We’ve completely ripped it up and started again this year and I’m not sure it’s reasonable to expect that everything would go exactly to plan.

As we learned in the Premier League, throwing money at it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you success. Nor does appointing big name managers or using the size of our fanbase as an excuse for failure - we were the fifth best team in the league this season and if we go up through the play-offs you could say we’ve been fortunate.

That said, people are right to be angry and right to feel that things could have been done better. But let’s save the inquest until after the fact - if we win promotion then we’ll be looking forward and not back.

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