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Fan Letters: “We must stay positive and get behind Sunderland so that we can succeed!”

RR readers Craig and Ben think Sunderland fans need to be more empathetic and patient with the players and manager. What’s your opinion? Email us:!

Danny Roberts

Dear Roker Report,

Is it just me or more so than with other teams is there a huge segment of Sunderland fans who can’t help but see the world in black and white (oh irony)?

Everything and everyone is either absolutely awesome, best ever, if it wasn’t for something or other we would be in Europe, etc...

Or utterly horrific, a complete shambles, not fit to wear the shirt, we are completely doomed, etc...

It seems to be becoming ever more common to encounter unsubtle attitudes like these. I think we all need to learn to see the world for the shades of grey place that it is.

With Honeyman for example, there are so many different angles to look at in his playing and his sale, but so the comments all seem rather divided into “good riddance he was crap” and “utterly depressing to sell someone who actually cared”.

Craig Tallentire

Ed’s Note [TA]: Hi Craig, thanks for writing in! I often wonder if what you’re describing is a case of social media allowing people to dig in with their opinion and defend it vehemently as they are disconnected from personal, real world, conversation.

I think there is a majority that lies somewhere in the middle, and as you mention it would be great to see people try and understand either side of the divide.

Perhaps if/when the Lads get back to winning ways we’ll see a change in attitude?

South Shields v Sunderland: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I am writing to ask all fans to have a bit of patience with our players and manager at the start of this season.

I know everyone is disappointed to have lost promotion to the last kick of the ball at Wembley and I keep reading about the worst finish in the clubs history (even though if we had finished top, it would still have been the joint worst finish in the clubs history) but that’s in the past now and we have to move on.

Only one outfield player that started against Oxford on Saturday, started the play-off final and that was Flanagan.

There was no O’Nien, Ozturk, Oviedo, Cattermole, Power, Leadbitter, Honeyman, Wyke or Maguire that started that day.

Jack Ross is trying something new, to give us an extra dimension. Something that we clearly lacked last season.

We had first games for McLaughlin, Willis, Dobson and McNulty (two of those haven’t even been here 2 weeks yet). Embleton and Hume are babies in the team and that’s half of our outfield players.

On top of that we are trying a new system and all of this takes time for them to get used to, gel and play fluidly. Any side with a new system and half a new team would be the same.

It will come. Have a bit of patience. It would have been nice to get off to a winning start but drawing the first game isn’t a disaster. We won our first game last season and it ultimately meant nothing. Luton didn’t manage a win until their 4th game last season and only had 3 wins out of the first 10 games and look what happened to them.

It is imperative we stay positive and get behind the team. Things will change. Things will get better. They better anyway!

Haway the lads.

Ben Ventress

Ed’s Note [TA]: Thanks for the letter, Ben. On this issue, I can empathise with both sides of the divide.

Have Sunderland exhibited a pattern of poor play that looked similar to what we witnessed the opening day of this season? Yes. Has Jack Ross tried to change things with new signings and a new approach? Yes.

Ultimately, I think Ross and his men need some time to prove they’re the real deal. I think the side needs to show dramatic improvement within ten games. I’ve seen people mention Luton, but it’s worth remembering that they were on a relative high from their promotion from League Two and showed glimpses of real quality in those opening ten games. Ultimately, fans believed in the boss’ ability to find success and stuck by him.

Ross needs to reverse his sides’ faltering play and give the fans something to be excited about.

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