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Sunderland v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship

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Fan Letters: “Yet another Sunderland game ruined by time-wasting and a poor referee!”

Thoughts on Saturday’s game, the form of Aji Alese, and praise for Preston’s supporters are in the RR mailbox today! Got something to say? RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Saturday was yet another game that was ruined by Preston’s time-wasting and yet another poor refereeing performance.

Credit to the away supporters, who never stopped chanting for virtually the entire game.

We are definitely missing a tall centre forward, and it seems we may still be a few weeks away from getting Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms back, so what’s the solution? Do we continue playing as we are, or maybe give Max Thompson a run out?

Tony Mowbray might have to think outside of the box.

If Dennis Cirkin is fit, slot him back in at left-back, and possibly play Aji Alese upfront.

He’s big, he seems to have a good skillset, and he’s always willing to have a crack at goal whenever he gets a chance.

I might get shot down here, but sometimes you have to take a risk!

Paul.

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Paul. Thanks for getting in touch!

Saturday’s game was a little bit frustrating, but in many ways, it was a decent result against a solid and well-drilled team. We had to be disciplined and resilient, and the clean sheet was welcome, so it wasn’t a bad afternoon, on the whole.

Regarding our goalscoring issues, I do think that Tony Mowbray will be looking to the likes of Amad and Jewison Bennette to chip in whilst Simms and Stewart are unavailable. The goals need to be shared around the team, and that’s what we seem to be aiming for.

Playing Alese upfront might give us some physical presence, but perhaps that’s a bit too left-field right now!

Sunderland v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I have to say that Aji Alese has really impressed me in the last few games.

I’m not going to pretend I didn’t criticise him after the League Cup game at Sheffield Wednesday, where he was poor, but since coming into the team he has been excellent. I’m a big fan of his ability to not only defend but to get forward as well.

Gary Bennett said pretty much the same on the radio after the match, and greatness recognises greatness, doesn’t it!

Now I see why West Ham fans were so excited, and whilst I feel for Dennis Cirkin, he’ll have to wait his turn.

Colin Ironside.

Ed’s Note [Phil] Hi, Colin. Thank you for your letter.

I fully agree with you about Alese. During that League Cup game, I had my doubts about him, but in recent weeks, he’s taken his chance and become a key player for us.

What I really like about him is his confidence on the ball and his willingness to get forward when possible. That gives us something extra, but defensively, he’s been rock solid too.

Another signing who’s starting to come good!

Sunderland v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

On Saturday, my brother said, “Imagine being a Preston fan and watching this every week,” and then as I looked up to the away end, there were thousands of them!

Credit to their fans for turning up in numbers, because we know as well as anyone how tough it is watching a team that don’t really do much. We’ve had years of it up until now!

It was proper support. You don’t see much of it in the EFL, and aside from that, I think the atmosphere at the game was great.

Hats off to the people who turned out in numbers, and I just hope they saw enough and we can retain their interest and keep them coming along.

This young team plays great footy and deserves your support.

Haway me bonny lads!

Joe Public.

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Joe. Great to get your views on the atmosphere on Saturday!

Personally, I thought it was really good. The fact we broke the 40,000 mark was brilliant, and it really shows exactly how much belief people have in the club right now, and the away support was superb, too. Loud and proud.

I’d love to think that we can keep the attendance numbers as strong as possible this season. The impact that a big crowd can have is huge, and it could be so crucial as the season unfolds.

Sunderland v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

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