clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - The Hawthorns

Filed under:

Roker Roundtable - #TilTheEnd Edition: A rallying cry ahead of Saturday’s clash with Watford!

With a pivotal game to come this weekend, we asked our writers to put themselves in Tony Mowbray’s position and offer their own pre-match words of motivation to the players

Photo by Barrington Coombs/PA Images via Getty Images

Gav says…

I think my message would be as simple as it can possibly be: just go out there and do what you’ve done all season.

I know as fans we’re naturally going to raise our expectations and excitement levels ahead of this game, but Mowbray’s approach in recent months has been canny.

He’s been keen not to heap too much pressure on the players via the press, and he avoids all talk of promotion and the playoffs whenever he can.

That said, his players haven’t been so cute and in most of the interviews on TV, radio and podcasts recently, they’ve been more open with regards to their ambition for promotion. Trai Hume on the club podcast was pretty clear in his view that we’re gunning for it now, so we know within the camp they’re very focused.

Mowbray really doesn’t have to say much.

His approach is that of a kind grandfather in many ways; he lets the lads have their fun, run around and play football, as long as they muck in and work hard for each other.

It’s a big occasion and of course he’ll be hoping that it won’t get to them too much, but all we have to do is go out there, play front foot, high-tempo football, create chances and work hard, and Watford won’t be able to live with us.

So, I say keep it simple, and do what you’re good at.

Sunderland Open Training Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says…

This isn’t the time to be overcomplicating things.

The players have shown all season that they know what’s needed, so it should just be a case of congratulating them on a job well done so far and reminding them what they’re capable of.

Late goals have been a real strong point and that would be worth highlighting.

A big crowd can add extra pressure and Watford are unpredictable, but if things don’t go to plan early on, there’s no need to panic as we know we can pull it round.

Beyond that, I’m not sure much more needs to be said.

These lads can be trusted to put a shift in regardless, and the situation we find ourselves in is a rare example of promotion being a bonus rather than an expectation. We’ve got nothing to lose and if it doesn’t happen just yet, it wouldn’t spell disaster.

It appears as if Tony Mowbray has a good relationship with the players. He rarely digs individuals out publicly and the lads seem to be playing for him and taking his instructions on board.

I’m confident he’ll continue to get the right messages across between now and 2:45pm on Saturday, and after that it’ll be down to the fans to do our bit!

Jon Guy says…

You’ve come so far as a team and a squad, and you can all leave the dressing room at the end of the season with your heads held high. However, you have a chance to turn a great season into one that everyone at the club will talk about for generations to come.

When you play like you can, you’ve shown time and time again that there isn’t a team in this division that can live with you.

We’ve got two games left to give the the fans and the club but more importantly yourselves a chance to return to Wembley for the playoff final.

For those of you who weren’t here last May, ask those who were what that day was like.

Play your game, feed off this crowd, and let’s keep the dream alive.

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One - Play Off - Final - Wembley Stadium Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

Sean Brown says…

In this proud land we grew up strong, we were wanted all along.

I was taught to fight, taught to win; I never thought I could fail. No fight left or so it seems, I am a man whose dreams have all deserted - I’ve changed my face, I’ve changed my name, but no one wants you when you lose.


Talking Points: Sunderland salvage a draw at The Den, but was it really enough?


On This Day (3 December 1995): Scott gets it spot on as Palace finally pay the penalty…


The SAFC 365 Advent Calendar (Dec 3rd): Three Lions on a shirt!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report