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Wigan Athletic v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Third Round

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Fan Letters: “Sunderland’s future is looking exciting”

The feel-good factor is back at Sunderland AFC, and there’s a lot of love for Lee Johnson and his young side in today’s fan letters. What do you think? Email:

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I am really enjoying the season thus far and have massively appreciated our progressive approach to recruitment.

However, I must agree with today’s comments about our negative approach to games in the last ten mins. The best form of defence is attacking and keeping the ball, not bring on extra defensive players, knackering up the team’s shape, and inviting pressure.

Personally, I quite rate the manager but his approach to closing out games is wrong and needs to change or we will suffer the consequences. It’s very Dennis Smith and smacks of the 1980s / early 90s.

Keep up your amazing coverage.


P. Shank

Ed’s Note [Rich]: I don’t disagree that the approach to the last 10-15 minutes of the game, bringing on an extra defender and going five at the back, invites pressure - but it’s only failed to work once, and then by the finest of margins. I guess it will evolve over the season, and so far we’ve played a lot of the better teams in the league, so maybe if we’re more than a goal to the good going into the closing stages of upcoming fixtures we’ll see a slightly different approach and we’ll kill games off at the other end of the pitch.

And if Johnson can achieve what Denis Smith did in the late 80s, with two promotions in three seasons, I think most of us wil be pretty happy!

Sunderland v Accrington Stanley - Sky Bet League One
Bailey Wright has been brought on in the final stages of games a few times this season.
Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

We are currently playing the football we have wanted for the last three seasons.

Young keen players playing at a pace we have missed in past seasons.

The signings this season have been a breath of fresh air, for once we have not bought or overspent on signings. The example we offered Exeter good money for the lad Key and we rightly walked away when they wanted more and I think we have dodged a bullet with not signing Jones from Rangers.

The recruitment staff and Chairman have done an excellent job this season, it did take time but so far it is paying dividends on the pitch.

When you see the Derby and Reading situation, we have Ellis Short to thank for wiping the debt off when he left. This season fans are smiling and watching some great stuff, you have to praise Lee Johnson for the job he is doing. The new owner has been a godsend - well done Kyril.

Everything the lad has done has been needed, to bring the club up to date on how things are done at a modern-day football club.

The use of stats and analysts has been a success so far in recruitment and is a hundred percent better than the stone-age methods we have used in the past.

For the first time in years, the club's future is looking exciting and hopefully brings success for the long-suffering fans.

Mark Wild

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Nice to hear from you again, Mark. It’s mint at the minute isn’t it. Competition for places all over the pitch, great football, great goal... long may it continue. Ellis Short deserves credit for writing off the debt, yes, but it’s absolutely the least he could have done give the years of drift and short-termism, and the state he allowed the club to become on and off the pitch. But I’m looking forward rather than back; we can’t change what’s happend, we can only give the teams on the pitch and the coaches all the support we can.

Wigan Athletic v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Was down at Wigan last night and wow, Broadhead is a player.

Drop Gooch and bring him in on Saturday.

Josh Houghton

Ed’s Note [Rich]: I’m with you all the way on this one, Josh. No disrespect to Gooch, who’s a class player in his own right at this level, but Broadhead is clinical and just oozes quality and he’s giving Johnson all the right selection headaches ahead of Saturday. I was down at his hometown club, Bangor 1876, last night and the locals are all buzzing that he’s finally been given a chance to shine after years of almost getting a shot at Everton.

Wigan Athletic v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Loved seeing LJ running to the fans and giving it big licks after Wigan. The fans chanting his name. It must be so great for the gaffer to be able to bask in the adulation of the crowd after so long without them.

Glad the club never caved into the idiot minority in the summer and kept him.

Gary Prince

Ed’s Note [Rich]: I’ll never understand the calls from some, in our mailbag and on the socials, for Johnson to be binned for not getting promoted, Gary. We’re seeing his team playing his philosphy, and it’s great to watch. We’ll not win every game between now and May but one thing’s for sure, we’ll watch a better brand of football than we have for many years - perhaps even since our last League Cup run under Gus Poyet.

Wigan Athletic v Sunderland - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images


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