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Fan Letters: ‘Too many players are not up to it and need to move on’ says RR reader Steve

Unsurprisingly, RR readers aren’t happy this morning!

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Firstly thank you for such an interesting page in the web world, your opinions are always honest and I respect that even if we don’t see things eye to eye, you are consistent and fair-minded.

My comment/question is I genuinely don’t know how I feel about the team, club at the moment!

We seem to be going through the motions and not really doing it very well. I have listened to or watched all the games this season and to be honest we have been underwhelming and the defeats at Portsmouth, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham were a reality check for us as previous performances have deserved these thrashings!

I have never been a Lee Johnson fan, but accept your opinion of not changing as we do this too often, but I genuinely would like to see us start to play better football. Yes, we need to win for win’s sake sometimes, but I am always wary of being promoted with a team destined to come back down as not good enough. Surely the point is to build a team that is ultimately going back to the Premiership and this squad should be the foundation of that project and I don’t see it currently.

I am pleased we have the current Chairman and do believe in some of the background activities, but the team sadly not! I am glad there are younger players coming through, but too many players who are not up to it and need to move on, sadly long term I would add the manager to this (I hope he proves me wrong)

Best Wishes

Steve Jones

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for your email and kind words Steve, greatly appreciated. While we’ve had some good performances earlier in the season we’ve been poor in a number of games, too. We’re certainly a work in progress, and football wise, we’ve not played a great deal of good stuff for the past six weeks or so. I do think we’ve got a few players who will go on to play top flight football in their careers (Hoffmann, Doyle, Cirkin, Huggins, Neil, for example) and I think that’s a stark contrast to previous teams we’ve had. Mind you, if Jason Steele can play Premier League football there’s hope for all of us!

I’ve been on the side of giving Lee Johnson time, and still am, but the reality is that if we don’t get back to consistently winning ways soon then his job’s going to be under significant threat. Regardless of any long-term plan, the short term aim simply has to be promotion. Sacking a manager is the easy bit however – getting a new one in is where we struggle! However, with the new set up, the ‘head coach’ position is relatively interchangeable, and Kristjaan Speakman wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t have a list of potential replacements for Johnson, regardless of how results are going.


Dear Roker Report,

Why have we appointed a new manager from Bristol City when he was sacked by them? As things stand we are not going up this season unless we find 2 decent forwards instead of the Numpties we are currently playing, Wigan must have been laughing their socks off when they saw who was their ex player up front for us. I’ve supported this club through good and bad for 76 years and this is as bad as it gets.

Bill Calvert

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for getting in touch Bill – I’m not sure there are many managers who haven’t been sacked! Personally I like Ross Stewart and Broadhead a lot – if we can get the supply right to them then they’re top quality for this division. (Not sure who the ex-Wigan forward is you’re referring to?) In all reality, yes – this is the worst (or certainly very close to it) that it’s ever been in terms of league standing, certainly. I cling on to the hope that we’re doing things in a different way off the field now, have a ‘proper’ structure in place, and that could/should reap rewards over the next few seasons. However, I can’t blame anyone for being thoroughly pissed off with the performances and results at the moment – and, in the context of our history, it’s thoroughly depressing. Still, we are where we are, and we just have to hope that in Kyril Louis-Dreyfus we have a good owner who’s in it for the long-term, and that he and Speakman are on the ball and can guide us in the right direction. They’re having to sort out an absolute mess left by previous owners, and that doesn’t happen overnight.

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