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Fan Letters: ‘Lee Johnson must be given time’ says SAFC fan Paul

Lee Johnson’s had a difficult start as Sunderland manager, but is he the man to get us out of this hole? While Paul believes he needs to be given the time to build his own squad, Bob has concerns.

Sunderland v Port Vale - Papa John’s Trophy Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I said when he got the job, Lee is not the man to organise this shower of players.

It needs a bloke who has backbone and an idea of what it takes to get out of this crap league.


Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for your email Bob. Lee Johnson wasn’t my first choice as manager. Statistically, we’ve regressed in terms of points gathered since he took over – and we’ve had a relatively ‘easy’ run of games. However, I think he talks a lot of sense and is honest about what needs to be done, and I’m hopeful we’ll see this translated onto the field. We’ve chopped and changed managers way too often over the past 10 years or so, and it’s time to stick with someone for a spell now. Of course, that doesn’t mean he gets a free pass – we need to see progress – but I think we need to take the long-term view on this in the hope that Johnson can build his own team, and we can build a club that’s productive and sustainable.

Sunderland v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League 1
Is Lee Johnson the man to get us up? Bob has his doubts.
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

In over 62 years of supporting my club this is by far and away the worst team and squad of players that I can recall.

So now we have a new manager and after less than two months so-called fans are doubting if he’s the right man. Why don’t we just stand back and look at what he is working with?

It could be that in his squad of 20-25 players he might only fancy a few of them – goodness knows how many will be here in two transfer windows’ time. Obviously he can’t come out and say as much, but surely he knows his squad by now.

We are no longer the big club we used to be, we are recruiting loan players, players, from League Two and free transfers so what can we expect?

For me give Lee Johnson time – give him two or three windows and he will get rid of most of this shocking squad and start again.

It annoys me to say this but this team is nowhere near good enough for promotion it’s awful, rubbish and plainly just not capable of promotion.

For goodness sake we are worse than Accrington Stanley, we are as good as Doncaster, not as good as Lincoln City – that’s how good we are

So let’s get real and realise we are well and truly poor. So Lee, over to you. Good luck and make us a big team again!

Sunderland til I die


Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email Paul. You’re right, this is the worst squad we’ve ever had, however, I disagree with you in that I think it’s certainly good enough to get a playoff spot at least. If we managed to get a decent striker, I think we’d be OK.

We do need to give Johnson time, however, I do think it’s fair enough to not be too impressed with what’s gone on on the field since he took over – we’ve had a pretty poor run of results and we should have picked up a lot more points. As mentioned to Bob, in my view we need to commit to Johnson for the foreseeable future – but we do need to see signs of progression.

Regardless of whether he wants to keep players or get rid of them, we’ll naturally have a big turnover of players with so many out of contract at the end of the season, and we’ll struggle to offer the likes of Willis, O’Nien, Hume etc attractive terms given the salary cap.

Ultimately, we need to get up this season if at all possible, the longer we stay down here the more difficult it gets, doesn’t it.

Hopefully, the takeover gets approved soon and Speakman can start building the footballing infrastructure that can enable us to succeed on the pitch.

Dear Roker Report

I have supported Sunderland for 68 years. I loved it when I had in later life a sports bar membership – I would invite friends to join me and was always proud of the wonderful pitch we had. Even in Feb / March it was in wonderful condition.

This is now another reflection on the ownership of our wonderful club been owned by a business man on an ego trip. He should be bought out and not allowed to keep any shares. The sooner the better. We now have bad owners, bad team and bad pitch.

I really hope this is as far down as we could go .

Yours, Dale Fowler

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I hope you’re right Dale. I keep thinking we’ve reached the bottom and then we find new depths to plummet. The state of the pitch is just another symbol of the neglect that the club has endured over the past two and a half years, and it breaks my heart to see. There’s just a lack of pride from top to bottom, and the sooner the club is taken over the better. Let’s hope we get some news soon,

Dear Roker Report,

Your team of experts are spot on about Wyke you only need to see the stats on the man so it takes the issue out of debate. Can you put a report in the column does any body know why the pitch is so poor.

Thanks, Roger Stokell

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Who are these experts you talk of Roger? I’d like to meet them! In all seriousness, we’re all just fans with an opinion, but I think we universally see that Wyke is a very limited and inconsistent player, and we need a better option upfront if we’re going to progress.

Regarding the pitch, it’s a disgrace and as noted above it’s a very visible symbol of the corner-cutting and neglect the club’s endured.

Sunderland v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League One Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

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