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Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship

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Fan Letters: “For god sake, play and utilise a striker!”

“This is a rallying cry for change. Keep the same ideals but implement them in a different way,” writes RR reader Rob Hadden. Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The leaders of our club have not had a very good couple of weeks. I have never been on the likes of Twitter or Facebook, but even I was aware that the negativity that sometimes affects our club was on the rise.

Players can sometimes become a target for fans' frustration, particularly if they haven’t been performing well and are seen to be favoured ahead of other individuals. Abdoullah Ba has struggled quite badly recently and if our coaches are not aware of this they must be blind or poor at their job. He clearly needed a spell out of the starting eleven.

I felt for him when he missed an absolute sitter in the first half of the Coventry game and was not surprised when some of our support cheered when he was substituted (not that I agree with supporters doing this). For me Ba should have never been in this position as he should not have started the game or should have been substituted at half time.

Unless he is a very robust individual (which I suspect he might not be) today's game and fans' reaction will make it really difficult for him to come back from.

Perhaps someone in the coaching team could have seen this has been coming over the last few games. Surely one of the strikers (ideally Rusyn) or Jobe up front would have made more sense. The game should never have been lost 3-0 but the first half miss seemed to have a negative impact on the team as a whole for the rest of the half.

Peter Laverick

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Well, where do I begin! When Mowbray was let go I was firmly on the fence. He’d done such a brilliant job of not only stabilising us in the championship but pushing us further to challenge for promotion in our first season!

This year the expectations were high and there is no doubt the style of football is liked, however when results aren’t being produced then there is an issue. Huddersfield and Millwall were for me the epitome of the flaws of the system and when the top dogs get rid of the manager that should be a huge signal for change. The Coventry performance was exactly the same as what came before.

I understand we like the style but we need to utilise strikers.

I get that all are lacking confidence but it’s because they aren’t given any service. Our whole game is about giving the ball to Clarke and Roberts and the truth is they don’t want to be relied on for goals and they aren’t delivering.

Beale has been brought in for something different and he HAS to change things!

This may be controversial but I’m bored of Roberts, he just runs at players (maybe beats one or two) then just loses the ball and falls over. No end product whatsoever.

Defensively we are too easily beat and no matter how comfortable they all are on the ball when they have those moments of going in early for the tackle and they don’t retain possession then the other team capitalise.

Happened to Ballard against Millwall for their goal and again today.

This is a rallying cry for change. Keep the same ideals but implement them in a different way - and for god sake, play and utilise a striker.

Rob Hadden

Dear Roker Report,

Devastating news about Ross Stewart. Disturbingly some are saying the best bit of business Speakman has done in his tenure at SAFC. I would hate to think there was anything untoward in the whole process and I’m sure Southampton’s medical staff did due diligence on his injury. After all Ross was keen to go unwilling to sign a new contract so he must have believed in his own powers of recovery. I wish him the best of luck and prefer to think of him as a great servant to the club and not just a great bit of business. It would have still been a great bit of business if he had fully recovered and resumed his scoring career for a player with only months left on his contract and wanting to move on.

Stephen Jameson

Southampton FC v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Sunderland 0, Coventry 3 - what a shambles.

I am not angry at Beale, but my anger lies with the two dickhead who will not get a recognised centre forward, which the fans have been shouting for for the last 22 games, and until we do we are not going anywhere.

If this carries on, especially at home, the crowd is going to get fed up and stop attending. You could see them walking out for the last 20 minutes - enough is enough.

I cannot imagine what the mags will do, perhaps 7-0, and it’s disgusting to allow them to take over the entire away end, with proper fans losing their seats which they have paid good money for. What a shambles.

Bill Calvert

Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I haven’t emailed for a while as there was nothing much to complain about with Tony Mowbray.

However, our new coach (who was I suspect very cheap compared to other candidates) seems absolutely clueless.

Why would you play Abdoullah Ba up front? We have strikers and Rusyn scored on Monday - give him a chance.

O’Nien said in midweek they were looking forward to putting Beale’s plans into practice. What changed? Nothing.

Clarke and Roberts need to learn how to pass to our players preferably over 5 yards would be good!

Schoolboy defending cost us 3 goals. Not good.

Not sure how Beale is an upgrade on Mowbray? The jury’s out already.

On a different note, I hope Niall Huggins is okay. The lad has had a horrendous time and I am sure myself and all Sunderland fans wish him well.

Have a good Christmas.

Philip Wright

Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images


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