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Fan Letters: Readers react to the news that Tony Mowbray has departed Sunderland

Following the news that broke last night, Roker Report readers react to the departure of Sunderland’s Head Coach Tony Mowbray. Got something to say? Email us:

Dear Roker Report,

My opinion on the Mowbray sacking is that it is a bit shocking and feels somewhat panicky to me even though the end seemed to be near for him. He did wonders for us since he was appointed last summer and in many ways you could say that he is a victim of his own success.

I really enjoyed watching us play under Tony Mowbray (Until the last couple of weeks), I think that he brought a great style and sense of togetherness into the club that we hadn’t had for a few years.

The players need to learn from this as I believe they’ve let him down over the last few games. This season was always going to be difficult following last season and losing players like Stewart, Simms and Diallo and despite Stewart and Simms not playing much they still scored a combined 17 league goals for us last season as well as the 13 that Amad Diallo scored for us.

It’s not often that I have fond memories of managers after they leave but Tony Mowbray is one of those select few. I wish him good luck with whatever he decides to do next in life.

Karl Trotter

Millwall v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dylan Hepworth/MB Media/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It came as a big surprise that Mowbray was sacked. I was in bed getting ready to sleep - my dad went upstairs and told me... I laughed it off, then looked and saw it.

He’s done a lot of good work for the club, but the past few games have been shocking and weren’t improving clearly. KLD has got some big balls sacking him so he should have someone in line to replace him.

With the way games were going, I didn’t really want Mowbray to manage the Newcastle game. Strikers still not scoring, having 25 shots a match, not crossing the ball and every time we got to the edge of the box we would freeze.

Again, he did great things for the club and it was time to go but has still shocked me.

Niall Coker

Dear Roker Report,

I’m gutted that he’s gone. Don’t get me wrong. At least lately, I thought he waited way too long to make subs. And I hated how he’d bring on 3 or 4 players at once, essentially saying that “plan b” was “plan a” with a bunch of substitutes. I thought players like Pritch and Jewy deserved more minutes (as for Jewy, any minutes). And I didn’t understand why he liked Dak so much. But I wasn’t ready for TM to go and I think the decision was premature.

The biggest challenge the team had in the offseason was replacing Amad’s goals. Speakman, in his wisdom, felt this could be accomplished with Burstow, Rusyn, and Hemir, none of which could score in a brothel right now. Rusyn and Hemir need to be developing with the under 21 side. Those two are not ready to start for a Championship club. It’s not Tony’s fault that Speakman gave him crap to work with in the final third. Mobray deserves a statue just for getting last year’s squad to the playoffs. He did a hell of a job and deserved longer.

I surmise that there was a lot going on behind closed doors. I get the feeling that the club never really warmed to him and that they were looking for an excuse to sack him. I have no doubt that the complained to Speakman in the summer and following that Speakman wasn’t giving him the tools to win. He wasn’t wrong. And for that Speakman sacked him. I hope the club doesn’t regret the decision but I’m afraid it will.

Max Gad

Stoke City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

As much as I loved Tony Mowbray's tenure I do feel this decision was inevitable. Over the last few weeks you could see the players had stopped responding. Alongside bizarre comments in interviews and inability to change systems and tactics made it far too easy to play against us.

The club has previously shown ruthlessness upon sacking Lee Johnson albeit it was after a 6-0 defeat. That decision ultimately paid off. For a club wanting promotion recent weeks have not been acceptable.

Being unable to get a tune out of 4 strikers was always gonna end in disaster. Although the timing might seem strange, this decision shows Kyril wants to maximise the club's chances of promotion before things stagnate and we slip further away form the playoffs. I will be forever grateful for the football last season and Preston Away last season.

Let’s see where the future takes us.

Thanks for everything Tony but time for us to move on.

Owen Sara

Sunderland v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It’s sad that Mowbray has been sacked after what he achieved last season. However, it was important that we keep moving forward and we could all see the way it was unfolding. He in a way has been the victim of his own over achievements. It’s not a case of he’s lost a few games it’s poor decision making, O’Nien at centre back, slagging off the strikers, the model, not changing the way we play when things aren’t working, and not dropping players that haven’t been performing.

Sophie Rose

Dear Roker Report,

The team is stuttering along, however looking back Tony Mowbray didn’t ask for the players he had, but who brought in four joker centre forwards who haven’t a goal between them?

BAD higher management - we could have had one decent guy for the price of four.

Mowbray probably asked for Dack - a bad move, and Blackburn let him go because he is 2 or 3 years past his best. Why don’t the higher management look around League One and Two? There are some good free-scoring forwards who would love to play in our team without spending vast fortunes.

Get rid of the flops and buy a decent striker - if we finish above 10th place I will be happy, then work up from there for next season.

Bill Calvert

Sunderland v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Re: the cup draw - this is great news for us, & it couldn’t have come at a better time really.

None of the players will want to be left out of a match like this, so I would expect an increase in performance levels across the board over the coming weeks.

All I ask is that Gillett is nowhere near.

Phil Clayton

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Speaking of Gillett, I see he royally ballsed up again on VAR duty this weekend. How does he keep being allowed to make these massive mistakes? It’s almost like he’s being rewarded for being bad at his job. He must be mates with someone important.

On the cup draw, I’m absolutely buzzing with it. I love the derby games. I have zero expectations of us winning the game which is what makes it exciting to me. The mags are expected to come and win, and win heavily. So let’s just see what happens. I hadn’t actually thought about it the way you’re proposing though and I think you’re right - if this is a healthy dressing room, competition in the lead up to that game should be strong so that they’re all fighting to be a part of what could be a historic game.

Let’s wait and see!

Sunderland v Newcastle X


Pause for thought


Sunderland are set for a massive summer after the inevitable sacking of Michael Beale!

Fan Letters: “The distraction of Beale is behind us”

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