View from T'other Side-Sunderland
We asked the editor of Vital Sunderland Gaz Johnson a few questions about our clash with the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
His responses are provided below:
1. What are Sunderland's strengths and weaknesses ? What could the Clarets exploit?
Our home form and our away form in a nut shell! We have an unreal home record and only lost twice all season so your trip will be tough, even though we have little to play for (feels good to say that at this stage of the season...trust me!) Sadly, our away form has let us down yet again this season and if this does not change we will never progress as a football club. As to what you lot can exploit it would be our style to let you win this game even though we have all classed this as 'an easy three points'. We are good at home and if everyone can perform like they did against Spurs we should be good enough for the victory.
2. What do Sunderland fans think of the Black Cats league position at the moment? Expected, disappointed, happy? What were your season expectations? If not met, why not?
Overall if someone said before the season you will be 13th, almost certain of staying up with four games remaining I would have snapped your hand off. The reality is we could have been much higher and done a lot better if we had a bigger squad, better decisions and we did not throw away 12 away games for the sake of 'not performing on the road'. Im happy with the league position but we still have a lot of improvement in our squad.
3. Virtually safe and midtable have you anything else to play for other than pride? What chance we can catch you out by being more up for this bearing in mind we are fighting for our lives to avoid the drop?
You have the best chance out of anyone to catch us out as Sunderland never stay consistent, if a team is looking to end a run of 10 without a win, we will give you the win. If a player has not scored in 100 league games, we are the team who will gift him a hat-trick. You will struggle if you play like you have recently but you have to go for it on Saturday to have any chance of survival.
4. Your thoughts about the Clarets this season including the Owen Coyle debacle and bringing in Brian Laws.
It was always going to be hard. The appointment of Laws looked like a move to prepare for life in the Championship, and I still think this will be where he is managing next season..sorry.
5. Do you think we have a cat in hells chance of avoiding the drop and if so why?
I do not think you will stay up but I honestly don't mind Burnley and their fans and if you can stay above Hull and bring West Ham back into the equation I will celebrate with you lot!
6. Who did you want to go down and which two remaining do you think will go down with Pompey?
West Ham and Wigan would be my preferred choice but it will be Hull and Burnley.
7. How have Sunderland fans taken to Steve Bruce as a manager? Totally happy or not?
It has been hit and miss. Yes he has stabilised the club, brought in the best players we have ever seen at this club and got us winning at home and against big clubs. He knows how to get the team going when fully fit but when anyone is missing or injured he does make some strange decisions. I am on his side and if he is given time and more funds he could make us into a top ten club next season.
8. If you could have one Burnley player, which one & why?
Erm, well David Nugent snubbed us for being a small club and we ended up with Bent so certainly not him! Elliott was decent early in the season and we need a winger so I would say him. I would also make a statue for outside your ground for Brian Jensen with that face he pulls every game when he concedes a goal....priceless haha!
9. Your prediction for Saturday
We will run out comfortable 2-0 winners.
10. Can you recommend any good away-friendly pubs near the ground we could go to?
If you are going to the City centre then we have Lambton Worm. Privilege is always good craic too.
Many thanks to Gaz for providing a great response to our questions. Vital Burnley have returned the favour and you can now see my answers to Gaz's questions on Vital Sunderland so nip over and take a look sometime.
Here is the Link:
Interview From T'Other Side