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Fan Letters: How do these young players get experience?

In today’s mailbag we have criticism for Tony Mowbray and a suggestion that we can’t compete until our young players gain experience... Got something to say? Email us: rokerreport@yahoo.co.uk

Photo by John Early/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

You kindly printed a posting from me a few weeks back after the defeat by Burnley in which I stated I believed Tony Mowbray to be tactically inept in that game. It gives me no pleasure at all to reiterate that message after the latest toothless showing against Cardiff.

We may have looked pretty at times, but we lacked any clinical bite whatsoever. TM had players on the bench that could have made a difference if introduced, but instead he once again stuck to his guns until it was too late.

I have said since the inception of him as our manager that I genuinely believe he is lacking tactically and that he is totally uninspiring. I genuinely believe TM will eventually go the same way as Parkinson.

Let’s not forget that everyone was cooing about how knowledgeable Parky was when he came to us. The trouble was, that knowledge did not bring results, and look where he is now!

TM is on a winner short-term. He knows he can afford survival this term and maybe even next, but I do not think the fans will allow for it. I am being realistic, and I know where we currently stand, but we are throwing away points that should not be given like early Christmas presents to sides that are not in any way, shape or form better than us. It is infuriating.

Peter Milton

Ed’s Note [Chris]: I get the frustration at the moment, on last week’s podcast I came out and said we should be putting three past Cardiff who were struggling for form, but unfortunately, the Championship is a bit like that.

It’s a league full of sides who on their day can pull off a result and beat anybody. We’ve got a young squad in this league which is fun to watch at times and I’m a big fan of moving in that direction, but it is a huge gamble in this division.

In my opinion, Tony Mowbray has been managing Sunderland with one hand tied behind his back when you consider he’s had two or three games where he has had a fully fit out-and-out striker at his disposal. Even now I think Ellis Simms has been brought back too early because of our need and is still a distance from being at full fitness.

I think it will only be fair to judge Mowbray fully once he has strikers to play with and he has a decent run at doing the job... and for the record, just in case, I can confirm I was not, or never have, been cooing over Phil Parkinson.

Sunderland v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Cardiff City FC/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I was at the match on Saturday against Cardiff and for the first 60 or 70 minutes, I was extremely miffed by the way we played.

I was listening to the radio on the way home and everyone was saying the same thing - why did he not change the team earlier?

Now here’s the thing, how do these young players get experience? Certainly not by sitting on the bench watching. It’s by playing the game.

Unfortunately, we the fans are going to have to bite the bullet. I have seen some smart football this season from the Lads and I do not like saying it, but our team will not be competing for a good couple of years yet until experience is gained.

A Lynn

[50 odd years RED N WHITE]

Ed’s Note [Chris]: I suppose it depends on what you mean by “competing”. This will probably be linked to expectation, which is different for everyone.

In my book, we are competing and are pretty much where we expect to be this season. As I said in the previous reply, going into a season in the Championship with such a young squad is a massive gamble, but it’s refreshing that we are brave enough to do it.

I’m looking forward to see how these young players kick-on in the second half of the season, but it’s going to need some good management to get the timing right in terms of knowing when to throw them in from the off or look to bring them off the bench to change a game.

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Jewison Bennette in action at Blackburn Rovers
Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

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