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Sunderland v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship

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Fan Letters: “Why aren’t Sunderland giving more opportunities to fringe players?”

Questions on Sunderland’s approach to the rest of the season, suggestions regarding the matchday experience and a query on the workings of the clock on the scoreboards - all in the latest RR mailbag! Email us:

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Do you think Mowbray and the club should actively ‘give up’ on the playoffs in lieu of a longer term strategy? I’m concerned about the lack of new players we’re seeing.

If you think that Gelhardt, Amad and Michut (admittedly with an option to buy) are all only on loan and will likely leave in the summer, and we realistically should expect a lot of interest in Stewart, Neil, Patterson and possibly Jack Clarke, we could be seeing a large part of our starting XI not here next season.

Why aren’t the club blooding more youth players and the other fringe players should be getting more minutes than they currently are?

Seems very short sighted for a club who probably at the start of the season would’ve been happy just to stay out of relegation. Why have we seemingly gone all in on the playoffs?


Jay Hughes

Ed’s Note [Chris]: I would like to point you in the direction of this week’s editorial piece which you can read here. It is also a topic me and Gav discussed on the most recent podcast. Looking at our current position, I feel the preparation for next season starts now.

Sunderland v Luton - Sky Bet Championship
Joe Gelhardt
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I have a seat behind the goal in the South Stand, I love being there and it’s affordable. I love the singing and the flags and now that I know most of my neighbours, there is good banter too.

The fly in the ointment is the regular ‘kicking off’ under the bleachers at half time, which is usually daft lads puffing their chests out but a few times other people have been involved, being jostled or intimidated

It has to stop.

A permanent security presence and a couple of PCs down there would help rather than the invariable reactive response because otherwise, someone will get seriously hurt down there.

I don’t go down to get anything at half time because it’s a pain in the backside and I don’t enjoy getting doused in beer. Also, as someone who has to be gluten free a GF beer and snack option would be great.

In general the food options are not very inspired and the big survey we all filled in has not improved WiFi or decor or food options or the dodgy sound system. Having said that, I have just renewed and can’t wait for the next transfer window and for LND to be back better than ever.

Haway the Lads!

Alex Elliott

Ed’s Note [Chris]: Fan experience on a matchday is a big talking point at the moment, especially with the recent increase in season ticket prices. The progress on the pitch over the last year has dwarfed the progress off the pitch. In my eyes, the club are still a mess off the pitch in so many ways.

I just hope that now we’re looking to consolidate ourselves as a Championship club, the standards behind the scenes are improved to match that status.

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

Dear Roker Report,

Can the scoreboard clock not stop at 90 minutes and just continue till the game ends? We might get told we have five minutes of injury time but we have no idea how much we have played.

Adam Miller

Ed’s Note [Chris]: Not something I’ve noticed to be fair Adam, too busy biting my nails! I can’t see why not, unless it’s a regulation somewhere to not increase pressure on referees, as they quite often stop the clock during injury time and add a bit more on - especially recently at the Stadium of Light when teams do their time wasting thing.

Thing is though, however we track it, it’s down to the official in the middle, and as we’ve seen this season they seem to make it up as they go along.


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