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Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

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Fan Letters: “Volley or half-volley, Nazariy Rusyn’s goal was very well taken!”

Praise for the Ukrainian’s strike at the Riverside, reflections on the Middlesbrough draw and Juan Sartori’s comments on Roy Keane are in the RR mailbox today! Got something to say? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk

Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I feel compelled to respond on a technical point.

Nazariy Rusyn’s equaliser on Sunday was a volley and not (as repeatedly reported), a half-volley. Also, the save required by the goalkeeper wasn’t as routine as some reports have made out, as you’ll see if you watch the replay.

In my opinion, it wasn’t a lucky goal and insufficient credit is being given to Rusyn.

At the point it reached the goalkeeper, it was just beginning to dip, making the save that little bit more awkward.

It may seem trivial but it’s an important point to make.

Arthur Gray

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Arthur. Thank you for your letter.

I agree that the technique displayed by Rusyn for the goal on Sunday was impressive. The pass from Jack Clarke to find him was well-judged and I liked Rusyn’s composure and willingness to shoot, thereby giving the goalkeeper something to think about.

I think Tom Glover would’ve been annoyed to have been beaten at his near post like that, and especially so late in the game, but who cares?

It was a crucial goal and for Rusyn, another big statement as he stakes a claim to be our first choice centre forward.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

That was a good point on Sunday, all things considered. We all would’ve taken four points from two games, and that’s what we got.

I’m a big fan of Leo Hjelde at left back and maybe it’s another sign that the recruitment team actually know what they’re doing?

There was plenty of negativity on deadline day but I don’t seem to be hearing much in the way of recognition for signing a player who jumped straight in and made a difference on Sunday.

Just something to think about.

Ian Hughes

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Ian. Thank you for getting in touch.

I thought Hjelde’s debut on Sunday was very impressive, and considering he’d only arrived a couple of days prior, he looked very composed and confident. It wouldn’t have been an easy game in which to make your debut, but he did extremely well.

It’s important to remember that he hasn’t played a great deal of football recently, so he’ll obviously need to get up to speed, but the early signs were encouraging and hopefully he can build on it.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Martin Swinney/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I read something in the papers about Roy Keane and Juan Sartori apparently talking about him on the new series of Sunderland ‘Til I Die.

It made me think: can you imagine what would’ve happened if we’d signed up Keano as manager?

We’ll never know, but I was thinking about whether he’d still be here or not, working under the current system exclusively with kids!

I think most of us wanted it at the time. but in hindsight I think it would’ve ended in tears, as he wouldn’t have fitted in.

Brixton Mackem

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Brixton Mackem. Thank you for your letter.

Personally, although I’ll always have a fondness for Keane and what he achieved at Sunderland from 2006-2008, I think it’s a chapter that’s closed now.

I’m not entirely convinced that such a strong-willed individual would be willing to work within a system such as ours, and the harsh reality is that since leaving Ipswich in 2011, his managerial career has been mixed, to say the least, and the fact that he’s not coached a club in his own right since that time speaks volumes, too.

The memories are wonderful and they always will be, but I think it’s best to let the past lie.

New Sunderland soccer manager Roy Keane Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

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