Tag Archives: Sunderland

Preview: Sunderland v Rotherham United

We look ahead to the Sky Bet League One Match…

SUNDERLAND host Rotherham United at the Stadium of Light, as they look to build on a positive start to their Sky Bet League One campaign.

Jack Ross’s side have made a good start to the season as they look to go one better than the last, having lost in the Play-Off Final. The Black Cats have started with five wins, two draws and one defeat from their seven matches in the league.tar

The Black Cats come into this game on the back of a 3-1 victory over Accrington Stanley at the weekend and having lost just one from their last seven in all competitions.

Rotherham United, managed by Paul Warne, have won three out of four games on the road this season and will be looking to build on the emphatic 6-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Speaking ahead of the fixture, Black Cats boss Ross told the Media at Monday’s press conference that winger Duncan Watmore is still missing, however striker Charlie Wyke is back after suspension and injury.

Ross also stated as things stand, the Black Cats have no fresh injury concerns from the weekend’s win over Accrington. This is despite a couple of players being involved who had been carrying injuries.

Speaking after the victory over Bolton on Saturday Millers boss Paul Warne said: “I always think we can be better,”

“If I didn’t I’m not doing my job properly. We’ll watch the game back tomorrow then prepare for Sunderland. We’ll see what things we could have done better.

“We had plenty of chances, first-half. The set-piece caught us cold, even though we haven’t been able to have them watched, I knew set-pieces would be a problem. Someone fell asleep, so that’s a problem.

“But, overall, to score six goals at home in the sunshine, it was a good workout against a good Bolton side. We weren’t playing against an Under-21s – anything but. They did cause us problems, at times, but more often than not, the lads answered the questions.”

Warne admitted that “The lads were trying to score,” saying “We were putting dangerous crosses in. We haven’t had much luck over the last five or six games, I don’t think. Whereas we had a lot of luck today, like Carlton’s second goal with how it fell to him and a deflected shot. You could argue that the scoreline maybe flattered us, I don’t know if we were deserved of more goals but we were definitely deserved of a win.”

Warne believed that he thought Bolton would start really well, saying: “I thought they (Bolton) would start really well. They had a brilliant following and they stood to a man to the final whistle and clapped their team off, which was hugely impressive.

“For them to score early on was a good character test and the lads passed the test.”

Match Prediction

Sunderland 1-2 Rotherham United

Away Ticket News

Ticket Details for Rotherham United fans ahead of the game, it’s been confirmed that Millers supporters can pay on the night at the Stadium of Light ahead of their clash.

There will be no increases in price of tickets on the day of the game – meaning they are priced at:

  • Adults (22-64): £18
  • Senior (65+): £15
  • Under 22: £10
  • Under 16: £17

Proof of concessions will need to be shown at time of purchase and also on the turnstiles at the Stadium of Light on the day of the game. If anyone is unable to show proof of concession at the turnstiles then they’ll be refused entry with no refund possible.

Tickets will remain on sale at the AESSEAL New York Stadium’s Red and White Shop, online at Rotherham United Shop or via phone on 01709 827768 until 12pm Tuesday 17th September.

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Coventry City season previewing

The Sky Blues are heading into their second season in League One, after a successful return last year.

Mark Robins has brought in 10 new players, hoping that they can add fuel to the already lit fire, as Coventry look to reach the play-offs this season.

Robins has also sold 11 players and has loaned out three youngsters; Robins has had a big revamp with the squad and looks to have a master plan coming together nicely.

The gaffer will be looking at key players to step up this year and to guide the side into the players.

Skipper, Liam Kelly had a brilliant season last year and will be hopeful to continue that run of form this year alongside, Jamie Allen, who was signed for an undisclosed fee of league rivals, Burton Albion.

New goalkeeper, Marko Marosi, will also be a key player for the Sky Blues this year, as the Doncaster favourite last year turned down a contract to join up with Robins, the Slovakian will hope to impress the Sky Blue Army.

Veteran defender, Kyle McFadzean is the ideal replacement for Jordan Willis, who left for Sunderland this summer, with McFadzean’s experience and strong approach, he is a great addition to the squad.

New French winger, Wesley Jobello, who has caught the eye of fans during pre-season, will be a vital member of the squad, with his skill, pace and strength.

Fans favourite, Max Biamou, who has returned from a serious injury, is hoping to have a successful one and replicate his 2017/18 season.

There will be a few clubs looking to rival the Sky Blues this season for play-offs and promotion.

Here is a preview of the big hitters for this season.

One of the main contenders for promotion is Sunderland, who have already signed three former Coventry players this season; Lee Burge, Jordan Willis and Marc McNulty; as well as making other key signings, Sunderland look likely to gain promotion this season, after missing out last year in the play-off final, losing to Charlton. Prediction: 1st

Another rival for promotion is newly relegated, Ipswich Town, who have signed highly rated striker, James Norwood from Tranmere Rovers, the Tractor Boys don’t look like they will be short of goals with Freddie Sears also adding to the fire power. Prediction: 2nd

Peterborough United will also be aiming for a top two finish this season under Darren Ferguson, after finishing just outside the play-offs last season. Ferguson has brought in experienced players that’ll be key for Posh this year; with the likes of Mark Beevers, Mo Eisa, Christy Pym and George Boyd, who has rejoined as a club legend, the manager has made his intentions clear for promotion this season. Prediction: 3rd

Another contender to go up this season is Rotherham United, after a poor season in the Championship, Paul Warne and his Millers will look to make amends, a reshaped Rotherham side could give them the confidence to get straight back up to the Championship at the first time of asking. Prediction: 4th

Portsmouth are a club who are looking for an automatic spot this season, a team who beat the Sky Blues twice last year, have added to their already strong squad; by bringing in play-off contenders, Doncaster Rovers star striker, John Marquis. Pompey will be a real threat against Coventry and the teams up and around them this season. Prediction: 5th

Doncaster Rovers look to be the Sky Blues closest rivals for that final play-off spot, With the loss of their star goalkeeper, Marko Marosi to Coventry and striker Marquis to Portsmouth, Donny have struggled this summer but with the addition of Reece James from Sunderland and Madger Gomes from Deportivo Alaves, Rovers will still be hot on Coventry’s tail for that last play-off sport. Prediction: 7th

Can Sunderland do the double in Jack Ross’ first season at the helm?

The decline of Sunderland has been slow and painful to watch over the last few seasons. After managing to escape relegation from the Premier League by the skin of their teeth year on year, when the inevitable finally happened in 2017, there wasn’t much hope of an immediate return to the top flight.

But after back to back relegation to League One, the club were in free fall, managers Simon Grayson and Chris Coleman were unable to stop the rot, and the club began their first season in English footballs third tier for the first time since 1987/88. New manager Jack Ross has been tasked with steering the club back to the upper echelons of the game, but does this young manager have what it takes?

Style of play

Jack Ross has a very fan friendly style of football, preferring to keep the ball on the deck and encourages his defenders to play out from the back. His teams are attacking but are also disciplined at the back, this can be seen this season with Sunderland’s solid defence, only conceding 32 goals in 34 games while scoring 61 themselves. This season he has primarily set up in a 4-2-3-1 system, deploying two defensive midfielders giving the three attacking players in front of them freedom to roam, which has led to Aiden McGeady, Chris Maguire and George Honeyman enjoying very good seasons respectively.

Key players

Experienced winger Aiden McGeady is a cut above League One level, the Republic of Ireland star has played in the Premier League and Champions League, as well as two European Championships with his national side. He has 11 goals and 6 assists so far this season, and is already enjoying the best goal scoring season of his career with another two months of the season left to play. Primarily playing off the left hand side, McGeady has terrorised League One defenders all season, and if Sunderland weren’t to go up this season, there’s a good chance he’ll move on from Wearside in the summer.

Lee Cattermole has been around the North East club since 2009 but many felt he’d call time on his Black Cats career following last seasons relegation. That he not only stayed but has become arguably one of Sunderland’s most important players would have surprised most fans. What would have surprised even more fans is the fact that he has scored the same amount of goals this season (5) as he had in his previous ten seasons combined. The midfield enforcer has reinvented himself as a goal scoring midfielder almost in the mould of Frank Lampard, and his experience and leadership will be vital in the run in.

Performance this season

Jack Ross’ has undoubtedly brought the good times back to the Stadium of Light, sitting pretty in third place with a game in hand over second place Barnsley, as well as reaching the EFL Trophy final to be played at the end of this month. His side have only lost two league games this campaign, only Liverpool have lost fewer games in the top 4 English Leagues. Perhaps the teams downfall has been that they have drawn too many games, with more draws than anyone else in League One (14). The Black Cats have only lost once against the other top six sides, and have took all three points against Barnsley (4-2) Charlton (2-1) and Doncaster (1-0). With huge upcoming games with Barnsley and Portsmouth, they will be hoping they can continue this record.

Form last 5: DWWWW

Sunderland definitely seem to be hitting form at the right time which is exactly what the fans will want to see. A draw with Accrington has been followed up with four unprecedented wins over Gillingham (4-2) Bristol Rovers (2-0) Plymouth (2-0) and another win over Bristol rovers to cement their place in the EFL Trophy final against Portsmouth.

Run in

Their run in sees them face top 10 sides Coventry, Doncaster, Peterborough and Portsmouth before finishing with a trip to 13th placed Southend on the final day. With a very tough few games to end the season, it’s vital to Sunderland that they are in a healthy position before heading into these games, and will need some very big performances to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.

Prediction

With a tough run in and their focus potentially turning to their Wembley date in the EFL Trophy showpiece, Sunderland may struggle to finish in the automatic promotion places, despite their good form of late. But don’t rule out Jack Ross’ side finishing strong to trouble the top two spots, and potentially scoop the title.

Will Sunderland take all the spoils this season in the EFL Trophy & gaining automatic promotion or will they fall short to peaking too early?

Three players who will exit Sunderland in the summer.

As relegation to League One looms for Sunderland we preview three players who could exit the Stadium of Light in the summer.

Paddy McNair

Former Manchester United midfielder Paddy McNair looks likely to leave due to wages, McNair has struggled for a run in the first team due to injury. However, he returned in the 2-1 defeat to Preston North End before playing for Northern Ireland on Saturday.

McNair has made a big impression when he has played for the Black Cats and he has scored several crucial goals including a last gasp equaliser against Bolton Wanderers at the Stadium of Light early on in the campaign.

Played mainly as a defensive midfielder nowadays he will attract interest from Championship sides or maybe even a lower league Premier League club such as Swansea City.

Aiden McGeady

After a fantastic start for the club under former manager, Simon Grayson McGeady’s form has dipped drastically, the Irish winger exploded into life with an array of fine performances earlier on in the season.

However since the appointment of Chris Coleman McGeady has found chances in the first team hard to come by being used as a late deploy of the bench to inject pace into the game.

A January move to Leeds United was reportedly on the cards and this could be finalised in the summer as he is in all honestly too good to play in League One.

Duncan Watmore

Watmore has hardly kicked a ball this season due to a long term injury but the roadrunner as he is known is an excellent player and one that will certainly attract interest from clubs all around the country.

Watmore posses a fantastic range of pace and finishing ability and I could see him in the Premier League with a side such as Everton where he could join friend and former teammate Jordan Pickford.

Watmore hasn’t got the chance to impress Coleman as yet but if a high offer comes in then Sunderland due to their of field problems have no choice but to accept it.

Sunderland fans do you think these 3 players will exit the Stadium Of Light this summer? Do you think any other high profile names will depart if your club is relegated? Let us know in the comments section…

The Best Fans in the Championship

It is always going to be a long winded and hotly debated topic when any kind of ‘best fans’ argument is in place. Here we will be taking a look at what we think the best fans are in the Championship. There are some big clubs in the Championship, plenty of whom have all been in the Premier League in recent years. This list is in no particular order and not ranked in anyway. 

Leeds United

Leeds are a big club and Elland Road creates a sensational atmosphere when they get going.  Leeds have had a very good start to the season but the truth is, even when they were mid-table mediocrity, they still consistently had the highest numbers away from home selling out everywhere they go, including a massive 7,000 to Fulham away on a Tuesday night last season.

Sheffield Wednesday 

Hillsborough can always be an intimidating place to go and a great atmosphere. Despite their failed attempts to get to the Premier League and a disappointing  start to this campaign, they still take large numbers wherever they go. A big, former Premier League club themselves, they are a club like Leeds that the Premier League needs back.

Sheffield United

Wednesday’s bitter rivals Sheffield United have had a real time of it in recent years with year after year of disappointment at getting out of League One. Despite this the Blades have stayed loyal and faithful to their side and were rewarded with promotion finally last season. They haven’t had the best reputation so far this season in terms of causing trouble but they take consistent numbers away from home and get Bramall Lane.

Aston Villa 

After a very disappointing start to life in the Championships and generally a terrible last few seasons, the Villans really have a passion for the club and still travel in huge numbers and make a big noise going away and at their proud home at Villa park in the famous Holte End.

Wolves

On to Villa’s West Midland rivals. Over the years Wolves have taken big numbers away from home, even when they surfaced to League One. Whilst they aren’t the most consistent in terms of numbers their famous south bank at Mollineux with creates a fantastic noise for away fans to compete with.

I will take this opportunity to apologise to every other club in the league that unfortunately aren’t here! I will give a special mention to Derby, Forest, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Sunderland who could all arguably be on this list. Derby especially who get great numbers. 

Let us know in the comments below who would be in your top five!