Q&A With Sunderland

  • February 20, 2018 | By Gabe John
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/b8802

Bolton and Sunderland both look devoid of confidence but still have time to secure Championship survival this season.

Those are the views of Black Cats supporter Colin Randall (@salutsunderland) from Salut! Sunderland, who spoke to us ahead of their trip to Macron Stadium on Tuesday night.

In the following Q&A interview, Colin shares his views on Sunderland's defensive frailties, Chris Coleman's decision to take charge of the Wearside club, as well as why Will Buckley could benefit from Bolton's growing injury list to push his former club towards League One.

Q: Tuesday's game is massive. A win for either team would be hugely significant and it is one neither can afford to lose. What will the Sunderland camp be like ahead of kick-off?

A: We don't seem mentally ready for any game. Even our rare wins have mostly been thoroughly nervous affairs.

We collapse easily, ship more first-half goals than anyone in the division and, with the exception of the second-half fightback from 3-0 down to 3-3 at Bristol City and I suppose coming twice from behind against you, we haven't the guile or strength to recover.

Q: Both teams will be heading into Tuesday's game on the back of 2-0 losses at the weekend. What do you expect from the affair - will it be a scrappy encounter, or do you see the game opening up and both teams going for it?

A: I fully expect Bolton to mount early pressure, knowing of our wretched defensive frailties.

It will then be a matter of whether we can, for once, stand firm until we collectively remember it's meant to be a competitive game and offer some sort of counter-offensive.

Q: The last meeting of these sides was an entertaining 3-3 thriller at the Stadium of Light back in October. From that night, what did you make of Wanderers on the day and, in the long run, where do you see both ourselves and Sunderland finishing come end of May?

A: I had to follow it from afar. I naturally assumed we'd go on from 2-1 and win but, as mentioned above, you led twice so that clearly betrays an excess of confidence.

It's still close among the strugglers so either of us could just about get out of it and, equally, either of us could go down. We both seem certainties for bottom six or seven.

Q: Looking forward to Tuesday, who would you pick out at Sunderland's biggest threat and, vice-versa, which Bolton player are you most worried about?

A: Joel Asoro and, if he plays, Josh Maja have youth, pace and a bit of spark up front; they put older squad members to shame. But both are raw and a lot is being asked of them.

Will Buckley has hardly set the place on fire for you any more than he did for us, so will doubtless benefit from your injuries and suspensions to get a game and score against us.

Q: Finally, how do you see Tuesday's match panning out? Will Wanderers take all three points or will Sunderland pick up a vital away win?

A: I'd be lying if I claimed any sense of confidence, which is also one of the commodities lacking in our squad.

Chris Coleman may be wondering what possessed him to take over such a basket case of a club with an absent owner who wants to sell but cannot find a buyer, which is hardly surprising given the way the club has been allowed to drift towards a second successive relegation.

The best I can see for us is a draw, by no means enough in our current predicament.

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>


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