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Birmingham City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Roker Roundtable: Choosing the best moments of Sunderland’s season so far!

As we pause for the World Cup, our writers reflect on the league campaign and pick their personal highlights from 2022/2023

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Kyle Garrett says…

For me, the Bristol City game is the highlight of the season so far.

It was a game which captured every emotion: our first away trip back in the Championship, a sunny day in Bristol, and three points at full time.

Both of our strikers scored that day, and everyone looked suited to Championship football.

What a day!

Bristol City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Malc Dugdale says…

The visit to Reading on the 14th of September is my highlight.

We went into the game knowing that they had a 100% home record and were doing way better than many had expected. It was also the first game after the death of HM The Queen, which resulted in cancelled fixtures as a mark of respect.

Without Ross Stewart, we were under the pump in the early stages, and Ellis Simms went down with a foot injury which resulted in him being substituted.

No strikers, you say? No worries, because Patrick Roberts scored two goals that changed the game.

The first capped off a move which started with Elliot Embleton on the edge of our own box, before we broke into the Reading half and Roberts slipped one into the bottom corner.

He then added a second with a similar finish, this time started by Luke O’Nien. A sweet stepover by Dan Neil was a big part of the move, and such class was a sign of even better things to come.

We then built from the back, starting with Anthony Patterson, and scored that goal, finished by Jack Clarke.

I don’t need to say anything other than echoing the comments made by the commentators: it was a Premier League quality goal, and at the top end, too.

We should’ve had a fourth when Clarke was put through by Amad. His chip beat the goalkeeper but went wide of the post. Jewison Bennette had a chance too, and we could’ve scored five or six.

That win put us into the top six, thanks partly to goal difference, but more importantly, it showed the fans and the world that some of the football we are playing is up there with the best we’ve seen for decades.

I’m more than happy to experience the odd blip if that kind of football represents my club’s future, and long may it continue!

Reading v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says…

There’s a few to choose from, to be honest.

We’ve played some good stuff this season and we’ve also got some talented players operating in different parts of the pitch.

The one that stands out for me, though, is Dennis Cirkin’s winner against Wigan Athletic.

It was a good goal in a nip-and-tuck game, but the big thing is that it proved exactly why our model is worth sticking with.

Cirkin is the type of player we need to be recruiting, and I have enjoyed watching his progress. He seems like a nice bloke, and it is pleasing to see a good set of lads all working together and looking to move themselves and the club forward.

I can forgive the odd off day because of the way we are trying to do things. Blending our own talented academy products with well-recruited transfers from elsewhere isn’t easy, but we are making progress and it could certainly be worth it in the long run.

Like many others, Cirkin has put the work in and deserved his moment, and I’m confident that there’ll be more to come.

Sunderland v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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