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Fan Letters: Optimism returning to Sunderland?

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Today’s readers are discussing Sunderland’s upturn in form and ask whether fans can criticise the boardroom whilst hailing the players and manager? What do you think? Email us: RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!

Danny Roberts

Dear Roker Report,

just wanted to say well done to everyone for riding out the storm this week. some of the comments I read on Facebook have been disgraceful. you all deserve a massive pat on the back for staying true to your opinion while supporting the club. So a massive well done from me.

Once again another excellent podcast. I really enjoyed the chemistry between the new lad who made an excellent host and the less than angry one. his point about the fans sticking together and holding his tongue on his thoughts about everything else this week was very professional and it reflected well on Roker report to not take anything away from the team.

Keep up the excellent work. STID FTM

Charles Mason (season ticket holder since the 60’s)

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Charles, thanks for the positive feedback. The funny, and also great, thing about Roker Report is that the site is a place for people with conflicting opinions. Of our editorial team, three out of the five are fairly steadfast in their belief that Donald has to go; whereas myself and another editor aren’t so sure/are worried about what would happen next. Everyone is allowed their opinion as long as it’s respectful and well-mannered, though.

The side were fantastic this week, and deserve all the praise they’re receiving. It’s important to differentiate criticisms levelled at goings on behind the scenes versus those aimed at the football itself. The Lads on the pod did well to separate them as you noted. Thanks again for the message!

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Although I have contributed to posts on Roker Report for a couple of years now, this is my first letter because I feel the time is right to ask this.

Like a lot of people I wanted PP out. I cant really say I was wrong, because our performances were dreadful for his first two months. In relegation form he had the team playing hoofball to Will Grigg, a striker who likes to play off the shoulder, which showed a complete lack of tactical nous from the manager. He should have done an awful lot better.

However, as bad as we were in his first two months, the upturn in performances has been a complete u-turn along with results. Hes obviously got the players fitter, which lets us play a high energy press and even outmuscling physically bigger teams like Fleetwood. And were in a League full of teams with big players. Were putting passes together, and even Charlie Wyke has started scoring goals. 2 in 6 games, damn hes almost prolific (tongue in cheek).

Is it time to ceasefire on not just Phil, but everyone because were starting to put something together, and more importantly actually looking the part? Is it not time to get behind the team, whatever your gripe is.... manager, owner, not being consulted at Donaldout, because we might actually salvage something from what has been a dogs dinner, toxic, venomous season. And it shouldnt end as soon as we lose a game.

The vitriol seemed to start preseason, with posts on social media asking if George Honeyman was our worst player ever??????? and its not stopped since with one target after another. Its felt like a long unhappy season, even though were not far off the automatic promotion places.

When Jack Ross won 5 games in a row back in August, one particular ‘fan’ put up a long post of venom and bile, attacking him and calling for him to be sacked. My heart sank when I saw it, because I knew that no matter what he did he was a dead man walking and we were in for a turbulent season. Lets not have a repeat of that, and do what we do best - get behind the team, the club, because if we are on a start of a roll, they need us to do our part.

Mark Wood

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Mark, I think that fans will always rally around a winning side that plays good football. While our fans have been excellent this season, they will be twice as impressive should the side continue to win. I think it’s okay to still discuss the behind the scenes issues whilst simultaneously supporting the team on the pitch. You’re right, though, this dose of optimism is sorely needed.