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Fan Letters: “It’s been a season of ups and downs for Sunderland!”

Thoughts on some of the highs and lows of 2022/2023, a letter about stadium accessibility and the issue of digital season cards are in the RR mailbox today. Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Firstly, I love your articles and opinions, and I think you’re balanced in your views.

Although there are still games left to play, I keep thinking about how should we rate our season

Losing 1-5 at home to Stoke and 2-1 away at Rotherham left us in a bit of a lull, but I glance at where Rotherham and Wigan are and we’ve definitely been the best of the promoted sides. When we consider they were yards above us in 2021/2022, it's been an amazing first season back in the Championship.

Next, the ‘what ifs?’.

When you consider how long we went without a first choice striker, we would’ve been in the play offs at the very least. During the Reading away game, when Ellis Simms went off, I was beyond excited because we had no striker and we still scored one of the goals of the season.

It bothers me that we’ve relied so heavily on the young players, and to a degree it hasn’t been fair on them.

Bringing through youngsters is right but also you need to have maturity. I think we need a scattering of mature heads in the team, and watching Sheffield United at home made that point even more relevant.

Overall, there have been hard times this season and I’ve loved the team spirit, but I seriously think that we should have more experienced heads and that many of our youngsters will go if we don’t achieve success and are back to square one.

Great season for the lads, keep up the good work!

Steve Jones

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

I agree that 2022/2023 has certainly been an up and down season for Sunderland, with some excellent performances and results balanced by some poor performances and dreadful results.

Personally, I think our form has been typical of a newly promoted side, and when you consider that we’ve got many players who are experiencing Championship football for the first time, they’ve done very well and will have learned a great deal about what it takes to compete at this level.

If we can add to the squad in the summer and ensure that the young players keep progressing, there’s no reason we can't progress even further next season and target the playoffs at the very least!

Reading v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I leave games about twenty minutes early because of my disability.

It’s hard to get off the car park because it’s like ‘Wacky Races’ and the friendliness of fans goes out the window. Everything is ‘, I’m first’, and it’s crazy,

I also go and wait for my wife to come out with my daughter who helps her as well. Also, the commentary with Gary Bennett and company is spot on!

Alan Fenwick (season ticket holder since 1997)

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

I agree that leaving the Stadium of Light can be something of a hazardous experience, with road closures, poor policing and bottlenecks all combining to make it tricky when games are over.

It would be great to think that a little more consideration is given to fans such as yourself, but sadly, too many people seem to put the blinkers on these days and they only think of themselves during the trip home from games.

Sunderland v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Looking at the FAQs on Sunderland’s website concerning 2023/2024 season tickets, it sounds like even if you don’t have a smartphone, it could still be possible to have a season card.

Surely if this had been made more public it would’ve saved the club from a lot of the flak they’ve been getting.

Keith Shepherd

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

It seems as though the club are very much pushing people towards the new digital season tickets, and that physical cards will only be distributed in certain circumstances.

Personally, I think the option should be there regardless.

It should be the fans’ choice as to whether they have a digital or a physical card, and it seems slightly unfair at the moment. Yes, technology is central to football these days, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of dissuading loyal fans from renewing their cards.

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