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ITHICS Fanzine: Isn’t it nice to be looking forward to games, win lose or draw?

“With Burnley up next it’s refreshing to be looking forward to games, rather than dreading them,” writes Nic Wiseman, editor of cult 90s Sunderland fanzine ITHICS!

Danny Roberts

At the time of writing for my last column for Roker Report, we had completed ten games and were sitting in fifth position in the league.

Five games on we sit in 13th position, having drawn two, lost two and won one of the last five; though we’re only seven points off top.

This league is so tight, that there are only ten points between top spot and 19th. In fact, there are only 16 points separating bottom from top. Theoretically, a team could move from bottom to top in the time it takes for Liz Truss to throw away a Premiership.

In the intervening games we can only have been said to have played badly in the first half at Swansea. The second half saw a come-back of sorts. In the end, we had given ourselves too much to do, but it underlines our never-say-die attitude.

Tony Mowbray has twice, this week, resisted the temptation to berate the officials. Even on Saturday against Wigan, if it wasn’t for the fact we won in a scintillating second half display.

Against Blackburn - who tellingly have already lost seven times this season - two crucial refereeing errors would have had two illegal goals chalked off and the possibility of going ahead via a penalty that most people agreed we deserved.

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

Frustrating as it was to lose at Blackburn, we showed plenty of fight and spirit. Though were perhaps guilty of trying to walk the ball into the net.

I wonder if the game came too quickly on the back of the Wigan victory.

After the Wigan game, Mowbray recognised that opponents will come and frustrate our big crowds to get us to turn against the team.

Wigan’s time-wasting tactics and bringing their own towels with which to dry the balls with was ludicrous and laughable. One wag on BBC Radio Newcastle’s Total Sport said that someone near him went down to pitchside and hid the towel under a seat a few rows up.

Anyway... they became unusable after the rain storms that soaked the ground during the game.

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - Ewood Park Photo by Isaac Parkin/PA Images via Getty Images

Happily the crowd, for the most part, can see that we have an exciting team developing very nicely and are not quick to get on their backs.

It will be nice to have Ross Stewart and Ellis Sims back, because then surely the floodgates will open.

Another casualty from Blackburn is Aji Alese... which is a shame as he was doing very well in defence. We’re lucky that Dennis Cirkin is recovered to take back his place.

There will always be the groan that we should have bought cover in for the front two during the summer, but the team is clearly developing under Tony Mowbray.

With Burnley up next it’s refreshing to be looking forward to games, rather than dreading them.


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