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Fan Letters: Readers raise concerns about Sunderland’s management and ownership

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In today’s Fan Letters, our readers have raised some concerns about Phil Parkinson and Stewart Donald. Should we be worried, or is patience the best option at present?

Dear Roker Report,

Here we are again - another home game with thousands of fans turning up to see a win against an average league one side, Gillingham, to be disappointed again with a dross first half served up.

What does Parky actually see in the performance of that system with the four players across the midfield that won't allow him to play anyone else, especially left wing back?

Hume in my opinion cannot take on players or get decent crosses in, as they either too long to the other corner flag or hits the first defender... and that’s if he gets past his marker without losing possession. If he had some quality he might get us in a position where we could be three or four goals up by half time, but as he gets one decent cross in for the first goal he will probably be there for the rest of the season now, and Declan John may as well get his deck chair out.

It’s quite clear that the system we play asks the two centre mids to feed the two wide players to get crosses into forwards - I’ve got no problem with that at all... just be able to do the job and outmuscle your opponent, which he is unable to do as he is too lightweight.

Please take your rose-tinted glasses off Phil and listen to the ones who have to dig deep to watch this massive underperformance, and rid yourself of this stubbornness.

We are Sunderland and we should swat aside teams of this calibre, home and away, and be sitting top of this league with points to spare. Just remember you could easily lose five on the bounce and you'll be back to square one with fans calling for your head. We are here forever and you’ll be a distant memory.

Get tough for the fans.

Top two spot and nothing less will do this season -you have the players at your disposal. You are too loyal for your own good. Gooch, Hume, Wyke and Flanagan have to be replaced or a repeat of last season will be result.

Jeff Angus

Ed’s Note [Tom]: It does feel like the side needs freshening up somewhat, Jeff. This side have done a lot of heavy lifting recently, and I wonder if a few players could do with a rest, which would also allow some of our newer arrivals the chance to show their worth? This season had been a tough one to gauge. Under Ross we were pretty poor at times, and fair play to Parkinson for getting the team winning after a tricky opening spell. Ultimately, the best managers adapt and develop their plan/system/strategy - I’d imagine Parkinson is thinking this piece through as we speak.

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

Dear Roker Report,

It seems the penny is finally dropping.

No one wants to be negative all the time but SD is a disgrace. He is the owner of a club that is part of football’s heritage and is running it like an East End Barrow Boy. One word that you hear time and again when SD name comes up is Chancer. He hates that but it’s true.

I despise the man for the way he has taken the p*ss out of our decent loyal fans. The very thing he said he was putting an end to. Even today, with all the evidence to the contrary, there are fans who still believe he is our saviour.

As fans, we clutch at straws and a couple of wins against average Div One clubs and were going up. Beating Rochdale is no yardstick for us to judge our team. The fact is we are not a good team and no where near good enough to compete in the Championship. We have gone backwards on the pitch under SD stewardship. We are tinkering on the border of real financial trouble if SD does not sell and to do that we have to go up. It’s scary. Because the EFL are not fit for purpose, owners like SD can do whatever they like with clubs and not be accountable to anyone.

Sam Lucas

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Sam, as much as this season has been a bit of a tough one, I don’t want to really analyze the situation in depth until our future is clear. If we go up and are sold to someone with deeper pockets and bigger dreams, I think fans will amicably split from the current ownership and all will be forgotten. If we don’t go up then the soul searching will begin. Ultimately, as frustrated as I’ve been at times this season, I just want to see how the season plays out first.