If I’m somewhere near what actually happens I’ll take that, go home and sleep like a baby. If not please feel free to call bulls**t and tell me how I built you up, filled you with broken promises and dreams about unheralded glory for Sunderland, all which turned out to be not true and ruined your weekend. Hopefully the former eh…
I also need to put a quick word of support in for Accrington Stanley striker Billy Kee who is currently unavailable to play due to battling Mental Health problems. Depression, anxiety and bulimia are awful things to be afflicted with and everyone at We Are Wearside hopes the big striker gets through this soon and can bang some goals in for Stanley in the near future (against everyone except us of course). Remember, always ask your mates if they’re alright, even if they seem fine and if anyone is experiencing anything similar get some help ASAP don’t suffer alone. If you need signposted for where to go for support you can even send us a message, one of our writers is a mental health professional.
What could go down
I feel that the midfield lacks dynamism when Power is selected alongside Leadbitter so if the club captain is going to start it has to be the graft and aggression of George Dobson alongside him. Let our partnerships in the back four to flourish for a little longer as we will definitely need the height of Ozturk and the jumping of Willis to keep our box well defended. The rest I would leave as is, I like the idea of trying to stretch teams and create space, something which Jack Ross has been consistent with since taking the reins at the Stadium of Light, and we really do look after the ball fantastically well.
But we still need to be more clinical in front of goal, we need a little bit more movement around the box and we need to be ruthless when chances present themselves. Sunderland should respect Accrington, but we need to trust the ability of our own players and back them to come out on top by playing football.
Accrington seem to have found some consistency in selection after last season bedding into League One (much like ourselves) but have been heavily reliant on loan signings and performances have been inconsistent so far. John Coleman is bringing much of the same as he has done over the last 12 months and will be hoping to try and drag Sunderland into a more physical battle rather than risk his side being outplayed again.
His side aren’t too heavily reliant on the long ball but still prefer a direct and physical way of playing, much like we saw in the rain abandoned game at the Wham Stadium last season where the lads got dragged into a physical battle playing on a surface which could only be described as a marsh. Pen them in, take our chances and Sunderland fans will be happiest inside the Wham come 90 minutes. We also need to win the battle of discipline because neither side has been clean in that department of late, both sides seeing at least one player leave the field in their last fixtures.
I expect the lads to have dusted themselves down from the last disappointing away trip and be ready for this afternoon’s. Competition is strong and most shirts are up for grabs so players know that no one is safe from the chop and they will have to keep raising the bar to start week in week out.
I expect us to come flying out of the blocks and go at them hell for leather, especially away from home where our lads always play with more confidence. Hat trick hero Chris Maguire is back in contention along with a whole host of others such as McNulty and Hume, but I think it will be Will Grigg who has quietly been brewing some confidence in the last few games who grabs the first goal for Sunderland, and I certainly expect there to be more than one for us to celebrate.
3-1 to Sunderland again, I think some nerves and jitters might hold us back but once we get going I expect us to be too much for Stanley. Goals for Grigg and Maguire.
Ha’Way the Lads!