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Fan Letters: “I’m not biased when it comes to Newcastle… I don’t care who beats them!”

Thoughts on our nearest and dearest’s cup final defeat, early leavers at the Stadium of Light, Saturday’s game against Stoke and managing the players’ workload are in the RR mailbox today. Got something to say? Email us:

Dear Roker Report,

I simply can’t grasp how any Sunderland fan would want Newcastle to win anything, let alone a cup. As Len Shackleton once said, “I’m not biased when it comes to Newcastle, because I don’t mind who beats them!”.

If you’re of that persuasion, you need to shake your head or detach yourself from the club. After all, have you not seen the abuse we receive constantly?

I’m sixty years old and I’ve supported the club on the Fulwell End terrace since the late 1970’s.

Doug Raine

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Doug. Thanks for getting in touch!

I did find some of the social media content regarding the Carabao Cup final quite strange, and I simply can’t get into the mindset of someone who’d wish Newcastle good luck on the basis that a victory for them would’ve been ‘good for the North East’.

We all know the story of Newcastle and their current owners, and I ask: would they have wished us good luck and encouraged us to ‘bring the trophy home’ before our appearances in Wembley finals?

I think we all know the answer to that.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Carabao Cup Final Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I hate leaving early, but I do so every game!

I leave on eighty-eight minutes, purely because if I left at full time, it would take me an hour or more to get home. However, by leaving at that time, I can be out of town and down the A19 before the final whistle.

Parking anywhere near the stadium is becoming a joke, with wardens issuing tickets and setting up ‘No Parking’ zones in many streets. This means that we have to park much further from the stadium.

It’s annoying that the match day experience is spoilt by the worry of finding a parking space.

Les King

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Les. Thanks for your letter.

I sympathise with you regarding parking on match days.

I tend to park in either St Mary’s multi-storey or The Bridges rooftop, which are both safe and easy to access, but can often be difficult to get out of, resulting in a longer journey home when the traffic is heavy.

The streets surrounding the stadium aren’t exactly the best places to park, either, and there’s been a multitude of issues all season regarding safety and traffic being redirected, which can lead to frustration among the fans.

Perhaps it’ll be addressed at some stage because if attendances keep climbing in the future, it could become an even greater issue.


Dear Roker Report,

Given what we know about Alex Neil and Stoke, is this weekend’s fixture a ‘must-win’ game?

We can’t afford to lose to him!

John Hall

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, John. Thanks for your letter!

From a pride point of view, it’s absolutely a must-win.

Neil walked out on us in thoroughly unprofessional fashion last year, leaving behind a young and promising team and choosing to coach a team of, well, not very good footballers down in the Potteries.

I’m sure that nice, lucrative bet365-funded salary is helping to sweeten the deal, but will he ever manage a bigger club than us? No.

That alone should be motivation enough for the Lads this Saturday, and the determination to show Neil that he was misguided to abandon us when he did ought to give everyone- players and fans alike- even more desire to see us through and pick up a victory.

Swansea City v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’m worried about the form of some of our players, some of whom need resting but keep playing.

Is this strategy? I suspect it is, because we’re guilty of flogging them right now.

It’s hard to play at a high level every three days, and will Dan Neil and Edouard Michut have learned anything from this?

Tom in France

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Tom. Thanks for getting in touch!

Personally, I do feel that some of the young players are being overplayed right now, and it’s showing in their performances.

Tony Mowbray has demonstrated a lot of loyalty towards the likes of Michut and Neil, which is a positive, but they definitely need to have their workload reduced or they’re going to be completely spent with a good chunk of the season left.

I’d love to see the likes of Pierre Ekwah and Abdoullah Ba given a chance. It’s a great opportunity for them to show their potential and to give Mowbray some different options.

Rotherham United v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - AESSEAL New York Stadium Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images


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