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Sheffield Wednesday v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

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Fan Letters: Can you imagine a Dan Neil winner at Wembley?! Ideal!

“I think Dan Neil, a local boy who stood and was pictured in the crowd at Wembley as a boy to watch his team lose in a final, would be the fairytale with a goal to get us back to the Championship,” writes RR reader Kieran.

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Recent results from the League One games have made the outcome of the charge for the playoffs to be very difficult to predict. The issue is perhaps even more important this season due to the economic problems facing individuals, that seem to be growing by the day.

Season Card sales will commence in a few weeks with a price increase being forecast. Davison - who seems to have the responsibility for the decision - seems to take the view that Customers/fans don’t count in this equation, and is totally unresponsive to comments.

However, the economic problems that fans are facing are in my view going to have an adverse effect on the level of SC sales a situation that will be compounded if promotion is not achieved.

Recent forecasts are putting the level of inflation this year to reach 7/8% with wage levels falling way behind this figure. Energy prices on the up accompanied by fuel prices, food prices also increasing, mortgages increases inevitable. All in all a sorry tale but they are not the only demands on individuals incomes, because the Government is increasing tax on the working man.

The sum total of the problems, and others that I may have missed, will reduce the demand for SCs, as will continuing to play in League One, so for the club to increase the price of a SC will result in a sizeable reduction in sales.

Crisis point? We’re close to it.

Mordey St

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think for the vast majority of season card holders, not even a plunge to the Northern League would put them off going along on a Saturday, but you’re right - it’s fairly inevitible that with the rising cost of living, people are going to start making some tough decisions about how and where they spend their money.

There was a rise in season card sales in the summer and that was largely due to KLD’s new vision for the running of the club, but that honeymoon is largely over now and ultimately, many fans will be faced with a tough decision over whether or not they can actually be arsed with a fifth season in this hellscape of a division.

You cannot sustain a club this size in the third tier - that much is true. With fans walking away, I fear things will only continue to draw out... we could be stuck here another few years at least if we don’t get out through the play-offs this time around.

Sunderland v Crewe Alexandra - Sky Bet League One Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The big plus from Saturday was Dan Neil’s return. He was hungry, he had an impact, and he played like a lad who has learned his lesson. We know he has the potential to reach the top, hopefully there won’t be too many set backs along the way.

Gav wrote that the perfect ending to the season would be a Defoe winner at Wembley, but I disagree. I think Dan Neil, a local boy who stood and was pictured in the crowd at Wembley as a boy to watch his team lose in a final, would be the fairytale with a goal to get us back to the Championship. What do you all think?

Kieran Canning

Ed’s Note [Gav]: To be honest, I’d take anything! Dan Neil would be just as good as Defoe scoring the winner actually, now you say it. Local lad fires SAFC back to the Championship!

I like it.

Sunderland v Crewe Alexandra - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Short and sweet. Saturday's match was the worst football match I have ever watched in 70 years. l don’t mind a team putting eleven players behind the ball and defending for 90 minutes, but for a so-called head coach to set his players from the first minute to waste time and feigning injury as soon as they lose possession just to make sure that Sunderland don’t get going and pressing was poor.

Lesser teams have been using the same tactics since we got relegated to this anti-football league. Two games last week, and between them we had 21 minutes of added time (time-wasting). It should have been 45 minutes. I’m getting on now, hopefully we’ll get out of this league sooner than later. EVERY HOME GAME IS A CARBON COPY.

Anthony DeGiovanni

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Yup, it’s immensely frustrating that Sunderland get special treatment from visiting sides but it is what it is - at least we know how the vast majority of teams are going to play. If I’m honest, we’ve been a bit arrogant/naive over our time at this level. I’ve watched teams like Barnsley, Luton, Wycombe and Rotherham bully their way out with a combination of quality but also aggression, physicality and brute strength throughout the core of their side, signing players who have the attributes to cope with some of the shit football we’re faced with. Why have we never done that? The average height of our side must be one of the smallest in the division - we could have done with a few more big lads this season at times I think. Easy saying that with the benefit of hindsight, of course.

Sunderland v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

After watching Rangers last week against Red Star, and seeing speed and commitment to attack, I hope that our manager watched that game and would employ some of the tactics. I was pleased with the result last week as we all were, but would love to see us employ more wing play, and attack with more speed, as we did after the subs came on.

Again too slow in defence, a better team than Crewe may have scored.

The way the defence do the tippy-tappy backwards and forwards is almost worth nothing. Not enough direct play, so bringing defenders forward out of position so by leaving space behind must be employed ASAP.

One-twos are also lacking in midfield which changed when Dan came on, another thing that has gone down is our fast starts at least at home if we can get early goals that brigs out the other team's games are running out but we have the squad to win every game, no more second chances we must get out of this league this year, no ifs or buts.

Robert Walker

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I don’t mind us keeping the ball, so long as we look to penetrate the other team and aren’t wasteful. I don’t think we were tippy-tappy against Crewe - quite the opposite. We continually punted it long until we brought the three subs on, at which point we kept it on the deck and knocked it around well, scoring a couple of good goals.


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