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Fan Letters: “Was Sunderland’s Checkatrade Trophy run a reason behind why we weren’t promoted?”

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“My own theory is that we just ran out of steam, probably from playing too many games, especially in a short amount of time at the end of the season.” writes RR reader John Briggs. Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk!

Dear Roker Report,

I’ve been reading all the letters and everyone’s theories as to why we failed to get promoted. The blame has said to have been “too many draws”, “poor tactics”, “incorrect team selection” , “wrong playing formation”, “bad recruitment” indeed everything except blaming the tea lady.

My own theory is that we just ran out of steam, probably from playing too many games, especially in a short amount of time at the end of the season.

Was our Checkatrade run a factor? It could well be, as Portsmouth who we played in the final also fell away in the last few weeks of the season. When we played them at their ground in the play-offs they looked particularly jaded, just as we did in the final.

If you go back a few weeks earlier to when we played Barnsley away, after that game if I remember correctly we were 2 points behind them with 2 games in hand, then it all went pear shaped as we embarked on 2 games a week at a vital time .

The Checkatrade didn’t affect us earlier in the season as we tended to play a mixture of younger players and first team squad players who weren’t getting a game. In later rounds we were fielding just about a full first team.We also had to fit in a couple of games postponed by weather and International call ups. So I’m surmising that the extra 10 or so games Sunderland and Portsmouth played more than Barnsley and Luton cost us both big time.

Its another theory to add to the list.

Looking forward to your views on this.

John Briggs

Ed’s Note [Damian]: Well it can’t be denied that fitness was a factor for us and certainly more so towards the end of the campaign, so in that sense an ultimately wasted foray into the Checkatrade Trophy did have a negative impact on the squad.

Having said that though: perhaps there’s an argument that the additional game time was something the squad needed both in terms of match-sharpness and morale? For as much as it must have hurt them to lose out in the end, running a gauntlet together can yield positives going forward.

As it stands it’s a solid theory that I could get on board with considering the eventual futility of the attempt, but I suppose that the reason why we fell at the final hurdle is anyone’s guess. Que será, será.

Chronicle Live

Dear Roker Report,

Charlie Methven’s not trying to wind Sunderland supporters up, he means every word - and not in a good way. The fella is a rude childish prick.

Now I respect Mr Donald, he has good plans for Sunderland AFC, but this pink jeans wearing clown is beyond words to me - he’s gone way too far.

Also, can you please tell me if Sunderland are sending new season cards out? I ask this because I was told they were replacing the card reading machines. Is that correct or incorrect?

Thank you so much for your help.

James Walton

Ed’s Note [Damian]: Well gee James tell us how you really feel! Charlie is getting a bit of a marmite reputation isn’t he?

SAFC recently announced that following the Ticketmaster switch there will be a full upgrade of the ticketing systems, including the scanners on the turnstiles. Presumably new cards will be sent out to suit this system.