Dear Roker Report,
Well what a past 3 months it has been. Who would have thought in December that we would be sitting in 4th place, two points off second!
There is a happier vibe around the club, it starting to feel that we are getting that fear factor back, we are getting the clubs identity back, dare I say that feel good feeling we had with Peter Reid and then Roy Keane. The club feels happier, the fans are happier. The players are happier and feel like a band brothers.
And most of the on field action has to go to Lee Johnson, he has taken us from a team look destined for mid table mediocrity to not only contenders for play offs, but title contenders which we didn’t look like under Ross( yes we played well and won but it always felt like we would do a Sunderland and fail, case in point Checkatrade and PO Finals) and under Parkinson, Foxtroting Hell we were awful, but with Lee?
Feels like we are watching a new team, a few players have seen to be transformed into a completely different player than we saw before. Like Wyke, this is best goal scoring form in his career and the striker we thought we were getting 2 years ago, Mr versatile ( Luke O’Nien) is quickly becoming the most dependable player we have, bet Johnson could ask him to go in goal and he would. Max Power looks solid and the voice of the team, dare I say like a Kevin Ball? Barking orders, getting stuck in, and calming situations before they get out of control. O’Brien looks solid. And its across the board (mainly)
Last night’s win was a solid performance from start to finish, with 2 class finishes (the JJ goal gets better each time you watch it) and that will put us in good stead for Sunday, and the rest of the season. We are getting better with each game. Before some games in past a win would come with a sigh of relief and side order of beer.
But now, a win feels different, even an ugly feels different, we are breaking curses against teams we’ve had for years.
Next stop Wembley.
A very happy Hannah in Southampton
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Hiya, Hannah, cheers for the letter. We’re mint and we know we are, and it’s definitely starting to feel like those promotion seasons in the past!
I totally agree with your assessment of Max Power - he looks more confident and assured right now under Lee Johnson than at any other point in his Sunderland career and is the charismatic leader we need on the pitch right now, especially with Leadbitter, Wright and Willis all sidelined.
Dear Roker Report,
As much as I would like Sanderson to stay, if its true what you read in the papers we will have to fight very hard to keep him. Hopefully he has liked been up here. It’s a pity there are no supporters in the stadium just to let him no how passionate the supporters are. So will just wait and see what becomes of it .
Colin Lee Anderson
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for writing in Colin, and I completely agree that we’re going to have a tough time keeping Dion Sanderson at the Stadium of Light beyond the end of this season. For me, he looks like an England international in the waiting. I do think that if we go up this time then he’ll have a decision to make, and the club will have to decide if he’s worth investing several million quid in. But I hope that Johnson, Speakman and KLD are all using their best persuasive powers to convince him that SAFC is the place for the most ambitious youngsters in the country to be playing their football.
Dear Roker Report,
The appalling quality or lack of in SAFC left backs has been so obvious for so long. Hayden Coulson at ‘Boro would fit the bill.
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for your letter, Peter. Coulson looks a decent player from the little I’ve seen, he can get a decent ball in the box and read danger at the back.
Left back is not a position in which we’ve had a much joy for a little while, but I think Denver Hume is the long term solution for us and, indeed, our friends down the A19 have been reportedly interested in him in the past. Callum McFadzean had his best night in a Sunderland shirt against Pompey, and I really hope this will give him the confidence to push on over the rest of the season.
If we do manage to get promoted, I think the recruitment department will be very busy with a massive squad overhaul in the summer in preparation for life in the Championship and improving in this area will surely be a priority. Maybe your call will be a good one.