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Sunderland v Morecambe - Sky Bet League 1

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Fan Letters: “We are in a good position and time is better spent supporting the team!”

Inconsistency is par for the course in League One, and Tuesday’s result should be beneficial for everyone...

Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

We’re just on the back of a 1-1 draw with Oxford, a game we should’ve won, but we didn’t. I’m not too downbeat. For the majority of the game we were the better team and as a result of some slack finishing and one piece of slack defending (by a player who by the way is covering a position that he’s not too familiar with due to the horrendous injury list we have), we couldn’t quite get over the line. All I’d heard before the game was how great Oxford are and how with our injury list we’d be lucky to get anything from the game. Let’s face it, they got lucky.

We should’ve drawn (or been beaten) by Ipswich, but sneaked a win, so I’m very much in the, ‘these things even themselves out’ category. Those last 3 games bore 7 out of 9 points. Let’s hope the point today is the start of a similar return.

What I can’t understand though is the negativity this draw has brought. Booing after the game, which is mind boggling, the abuse that Johnson must’ve had to flick the bird at someone (well done Lee) and then on the way home, the laughable ‘supporters’ ringing in to Benno and asking for a change of manager, to which Benno always asks them, “but who are we going to get in to replace Johnson.” I made a mental note as at one point (17:28 on the clock), “I think we should go for Frank Lampard”. Ah, just sod off will ya, you prat. What sort of Fantasy Football, Footy Manager world do these idiots live in. Am I missing something here? Is the injury list that we have, NOT happening? Before the season started, did I not hear about the change of approach with younger players coming into the squad and building for the future with a long term plan in mind? When we were doing really well and some supporters were chanting Johnson’s name (probably the same over excitable ones that are now wanting him sacked), did I not hear him say about how he wouldn’t get too carried away just as he wouldn’t if and when we hit the bumpers …..I think he calls it flattening the curve, either upward or downward.

Are there any others out there with a sense of reality or should I just pack my bags, give my season ticket away and delete all social media?

After chop and change and fail for years, with us 2 points from top, there are those amongst us with all of the above in mind, that want to rinse and repeat again. As I say, is it me?

Please, someone tell me I’m not wrong and the lunatics haven’t taken over the asylum…


Ed’s Note [Martin]: It’s certainly not just you, DadsFault! By their nature, League One players, and young players, are inconsistent, so it’s no surprise to have these ups and downs in performance. Add to that the injury list and I’d wager it would be virtually impossible for any manager to get consistent performances and results. Of course, it’s natural to be disappointed at a ‘bad’ result (in my view the Oxford game didn’t fall into that category) but it’s important we don’t knee jerk every week – over the course of the season so far, we’re doing well, with some room for improvement, too.

Sunderland v Morecambe - Sky Bet League 1 Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

So glad the lads won on Tuesday. All the immense positives aside, we shut the boo boys up and Lee Johnson haters. Hopefully they’re all realising we are in a good position and that their time is better spent supporting the team. That’s what ‘supporters’ do right?

Joe Gowling

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I’ve been really surprised by some of the criticism Johnson has faced this season Joe, I think it’s way over the top and mostly unwarranted. Yes, there are somethings he could have done differently, and a few results have been poor, but we’re tracking well this season. Ultimately, however, every true supporter wants us to win every time we go out there, so the only thing that will dampen any criticism is good performances and results!

Sunderland v Morecambe - Sky Bet League 1 Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report

I would just like to add to my last email that you published.

Correct me if I’m wrong but to my knowledge, throughout many SAFC buy outs/new owners (Ditchburn—Cowie—Murray—Irish consortium—Ellis Short—SD and as far back as when we were formed) we’ve always known who owned our club and who makes the decisions. KLD said recently when asked if funds would be available in January that it was not a decision he could make as he was part of a consortium and they made those decisions. He refused to name these co owners. So for the first time in our history, we do not know who owns what and who makes the decisions. It is fundamental to owning our club that we know this. All owners have to be accountable. This has nothing to do with what is normal business practice. The secrecy around this and on the details of the buy out say clearly that there is something to hide. Where’s the real openness and transparency we were promised 10 months ago?

Sam Lucas

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for your email Sam. It’s an important issue that’s getting a lot of airplay at present. In KLD’s recent statement to the RAWA he said: “At present I’m unable to share the details of the shareholders agreement due to confidentiality clauses but will be in a position to do so in due course. I would like to reiterate that I hold a governance majority which was non-negotiable for my involvement. It places me in direct control of the club’s long-term strategy and day-to-day operations.” I believe we should absolutely have transparency on this issue – we have a moral right at the very least to know exactly who owns what at the club – but I think it’s also important that collectively we don’t go overboard about this in the short term either as it creates disproportional negativity which doesn’t help anyone, not least the team on the field. I just hope for everyone’s sake ‘due course’ isn’t too long away, so this can be put to bed.


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