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Sunderland v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League 1

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Fan Focus: Fleetwood fan Ben says Jay Matete will play in the Premier League!

Ahead of Sunderland’s clash with Fleetwood tonight, Matty spoke to YouTuber Knappers to discuss their battle to stay in League One, as well as Simon Grayson, Conor McLaughlin & Jay Matete!

Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Matthew Crichton: Fleetwood currently sit two points above the relegation zone in League One - how confident are you of staying up this season?

Ben Knapman: I’m not that confident if I’m honest. We have loads of players injured and we are struggling for momentum.

12 tough games to go and we are lacking a bit of quality at this moment.

MC: Ex-Sunderland manager Simon Grayson was sacked at Fleetwood back in November, what were the main reasons that prompted his dismissal?

BK: The playing style and the way we were losing games was not great.

We looked like a team that just looked for a long ball and there wasn’t a Plan B. Results have improved a tad since he left. But not a lot.

MC: The new manager appointed was Stephen Crainey, who is without a win in your last nine matches - do you think hiring someone with no experience has backfired?

BK: Yes and no. He’s in a tough job and hasn’t got the players to support him.

He’s without many key players due to injuries and lost players in the summer too. I don’t think any other manager would have got us any more points this season.

Fleetwood Town v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet League One - Highbury Stadium
Simon Grayson was sacked by Fleetwood earlier this season and still remains without a job.
Photo by Anthony Devlin/PA Images via Getty Images

MC: Jay Matete has played well since he joined Sunderland from Fleetwood in January - how far do you think he can go in football?

BK: To the top. Premier League football.

If Sunderland aren’t out of League One in 18 months, he will be off elsewhere I feel.

He’s so good in every department. You’ve got a gem.

MC: Fleetwood signed Conor McLaughlin after his release from Sunderland, but he left the club in January, why was his stay so short?

BK: We needed defensive reinforcements to help us to January.

We had to cut the squad to 22 to 21 again, so he was a victim of that and left the club.

MC: Who are the Fleetwood players that Sunderland will have to be wary of during the match?

BK: Paddy Lane. Star man!

8 assists and 5 goals. He’s fast, agile, and can create something out of nothing. Performs on the biggest stage too.

Charlton Athletic v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One - The Valley
Paddy Lane is a teammate of Sunderland’s Trai Hume for Northern Ireland under-21s.
Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images

MC: Sunderland have only won one of eight matches against Fleetwood - why do you think our side often struggles against your team?

BK: Joey Barton was a reason. I think you focused more on getting on his back, rather than us, and that helped the team perform.

Also, we just upped our game against you, as everyone seems to do.

MC: Who are the eleven players that you think Crainey will select?

BK: Cairns, Andrew, Clarke, Toto, Jules, Johnson, Johnstone, Camps, Pilkington, Harrison, Lane.

MC: The two sides drew 2-2 earlier this season - what is your prediction for the final score?

BK: 2-0.


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