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Fan Letters: ‘Take nothing for granted in the quest for promotion, there’s no room for complacency!’

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Are we getting a little bit carried away about our promotion chances? Got something to say? Email us: RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Why is it I have a sense of EXTREME DANGER in our quest for automatic promotion? Is it because everything seems to be going our way with rival clubs dropping points left right and centre? I just cannot believe the results of last Tuesday and last night. It is suddenly all seeming to be too easy. That is why we must show extreme caution in every game from now on, starting on Saturday. Take nothing for granted for it would be tragic for us to throw it all away through complacency.

Mick Colman

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Results are going for us at present Mick, but I too have a similar sense of danger! In reality, we’re probably going to lose games between now and the end of the season, but we just have to hope we can keep our heads and get the job done. I was doing a bit of research on our past successful promotion campaigns, and in the past our promoted sides have gone through their last 12 games at around 2.4 points per game, which leaves little margin for error! I’ve been impressed with our ability to grind out results this year, and hopefully with the likes of Wright and Jones to come back into the team, we’ll have enough. But it’s far from a foregone conclusion. There’ll be a few twists and turns yet!

Sunderland/Reid & Quinn
Our promotion winning teams have always finished the season exceptionally strongly
Photo by Paul Barker - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I see the reports this afternoon about a bid for Sando.

My eyes nearly fell out of my head when I read £2m!

Are we finally going to start spending some proper money?

I guess £2m would be a wise investment in such a promising player.

I’m concerned about having to fight off PL sides.

Do we really stand a chance?

Gary Phillipson

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I think we do have a chance if we go up. He’s the sort of player we can build a team around, and can grow with us. He’s captain material, and if we can sell him on the long term vision then there’s a chance. Much depends on his first team opportunities at Wolves, of course, and I’d think they’d be mad to sell him for £2m (unless you’re from Wolves, in which case £2m would be a great deal, get it done!). This is the first spell of regular first team action he’s had, and that no doubt whets the appetite for more. Fingers crossed we can get the deal done.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One
Will Sanderson be here next season? It seems we’re all hoping that’ll be the case
Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Sad news about big Frankie Worthington. Sadly his battle with dementia is a common one in footballers of a certain generation. He’ll have bashed his head up against some solid leather balls in his time. WHAT A LIFE he led though. I remember seeing him in Annabels surrounded by gorgeous women. He certainly knew how to enjoy himself!

Top player and a top fella. Thanks for the very respectful write up on him on the RR as I thoroughly enjoyed it.

MoxleyMackem

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email MoxleyMackem, and I agree – Mark did a great job with the piece on the site. He certainly did enjoy life – the title of his book, One Hump or Two, tells you everything! A tremendous player. On a serious note, the dementia link with players from the 70s is deeply concerning – as we’ve seen with our own Dave Watson. Hopefully the lighter balls that were introduced in the 80s will have reduced the issue for the next generation.

Soccer - Home International Championship - Scotland v England - Hampden Park
A footballing genius
Photo by Peter Robinson/EMPICS via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I read the article produced by your Stats Man and it was interesting if a little long-winded. The conclusion was in line with the analysis – difficult to interpret.

I was thinking along the lines of a more simple, less analytical viewpoint. If you assume the gold standard for gaining promotion or winning the league is 2 points per game or 92 points over the season we can looking at the top six in the division:

Hull - 37 games played - 69 points = 5 points behind target

Peterborough - 36 games played - 66 points = 6 points behind target

Sunderland - 35 games played - 64 points = 6 points behind target

Lincoln - 36 games played - 62 points = 10 points behind target

Doncaster - 34 games played - 57 points = 11 points behind target

Blackpool - 34 games played - 56 points = 12 points behind target

So basically all the teams in the division are underperforming and we only need to perform sufficiently well to finish in the top two of the current league rather than challenge history.

With around 10 games left the 4th, 5th and 6th placed clubs have some catching up to do. With Sunderland being in the same situation as Peterborough but with a better goal difference.

So in order to gain promotion the task is probably down to out performing Peterborough or Hull or in Peterborough’s case just matching them would be sufficient.

The great thing about football and sport in general is that we will find out. Let’s hope for the best.

Bill Young

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I love our stats and tactical analysis articles Bill, I think it’s some of the best Sunderland related content out there from any source, and it always gives me something I’ve not previously thought of or understood fully. Phil’s analysis on our metrics this season compared to previous promotion winners, and our rivals this season, shows how we’re tracking and what we need to do performance wise. From a results perspective, you’re spot on. It’s in our own hands, and we need to outperform (or match at least) the other teams up there. I don’t think it’s going to be as straightforward as others might do, but I do hope that with our returning players we’ll have enough. As you say, we’ll find out!