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Burnley v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Roker Roundtable: Are the playoffs still achievable for Sunderland?

With seven games left, we’re seven points off the top six with some winnable fixtures still to come. Can we mount a playoff push during the final weeks of the season?

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says…

I think we can certainly dream but to my mind, the playoffs would be a bonus instead of a necessity, and it’s just great to be entering the run in feeling relatively stress free.

Our home form and results against the lower placed clubs would need to improve if we’re to reach the top six, but there does seem to be an element of self belief within the squad so the players might still fancy their chances. They’ve shown themselves to be capable of some very good stuff on their day, so you never know.

Whatever happens, I think we can be fairly confident of a decent end to the season.

The work rate against Burnley was spot on and with some players no doubt having an eye on next season, I doubt they’ll be on the beach.

Perhaps there’s a chance of burnout for one or two players, given it’s their first time at this level. The lack of bodies could finally catch up with us but the lads have faced the challenges head on and Tony Mowbray will want to end on a high.

No matter what, we should be able to look back on a job well done and we can be quietly confident going into 2023/2024.

Burnley v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

Anthony Gair says…

Based on the current standings and Sunderland’s recent form, it’s possible for us to make the playoffs.

We’re only seven points away from the top six, and we still have seven games left to play, including four fixtures at home.

If we can find some consistency in our performances and play like we did against Burnley at the back, then we’ve every chance of securing a playoff spot. However, the Championship is a highly competitive league and there are several teams vying for the same positions.

It’ll be a challenging task, but it’s not impossible for the lads to make the playoffs.

Jon Guy says…

I think it’s more a case of ‘dare to dream’ about what next season will hold.

Had we not suffered injuries to such important players and kept Ellis Simms, I think we may well have been right in the mix this year.

The team has been amazing and the youngsters have shown just what they’ll offer next year.

If we can add to the squad ahead of next season, we’ll be a real force, so I’m daring to dream, but about the season we’ll have come August.

Burnley v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Kev Barker says…

I’d love to see it happen but I think it’s a bridge too far, given our injury depleted squad coupled with the form of the other sides in the mix.

I feel with that better luck on the injury front, we would’ve pushed for the top two this season and would’ve been nailed on for a playoff spot. Unfortunately, luck hasn’t been on our side, be it refereeing decisions, injuries and coming up against teams in form.

Whatever happens, it’s been an amazing season and some achievement by Tony Mowbray and the players to even be in with a shout at this stage.

Never say never, but it just feels like we’re happy with our lot and the head coach, players and board are focused on a more sustained push next season.

I’m looking forward to the run in and expecting us to go close as it’s never dull following the lads, and it would be very Sunderland to miss out on goal difference come May.


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