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Sunderland v Crewe Alexandra - Sky Bet League One

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Fan Letters: “Let’s create an atmosphere like we haven’t seen in years!”

This week in the RR mailbag we have calls to pack out the Stadium of Light, the youth setup and the lack of game time for Dan Neil. Got something to say? Email us: rokerreport@yahoo.co.uk

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images


Dear Roker Report,

This is a message to the club’s marketing and media team... get creative, get your act together, and get moving.

Cos we need to fill that stadium on Friday and create an atmosphere like nothing we have seen in years. Safe to say that bar that first year in League One we have done a crap job of promoting and selling a big game to casual fans.

This has to change, starting today. Otherwise, we could miss a big opportunity for the club.

Tom in Sherburn Village

Ed’ Note [Chris]: Let’s hope they can get the enthusiasm going and we can get the Stadium of Light full on Friday night. The early signs are good in terms of ticket sales so fingers crossed it will be bouncing. I remember the Sheffield United play-off semi-final in our first season at the Stadium of Light and if we can get anywhere near that we should be in for some night.

Soccer - Nationwide League Division One - Play-Off Second Leg - Sunderland v Sheffield United
Kevin Phillips celebrates the second goal in the play-off semi-final in the fog against Sheffield United in the Stadium of Light in 1998
Photo by Michael Steele/EMPICS via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

At the present time the U23 team are second bottom of their league with the U18 team third bottom of their league. This does not bode well for the future.

KLD needs to rethink the structure of the club and the personnel involved or else the future is going to be grim.

Mordey St

Ed’ Note [Chris]: Unfortunately, after a few years of neglect it’s not in the best of states and putting a youth system right isn’t a job that can be fixed overnight. Let’s hope it gets sorted regardless but it might be a whole lot easier if we’re in the Championship.


Dear Roker Report,

Why is the manager not picking Dan Neil, an England U21 player, generally thought to be one of the best in the league, yet he is continually overlooked.

Why did he pick the young Irish lad [Ed - assume this is Trai Hume], he has only played a few minutes all season.

It was totally wrong to play him in a match of such importance. I can’t imagine the mental affect it will have had on him.

A Thompson

Ed’ Note [Chris]: Dan Neil is a fantastic player and will hopefully play for a long time to come in a Sunderland shirt, but at the moment we’re getting results. We’re unbeaten in thirteen games and it’s difficult for players to knock on the door and ask for game time when the team is consistently churning out results.

On the other hand it seems Alex Neil is constantly rotating his squad which is why Hume got the nod against Rotherham and he did ok on a night when we were below par in terms of a team performance. So Dan Neil could well play a major part in the play-offs to come, even if that is from the bench.

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

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