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can we finally end our winless streak?
the lads seem to think so...providing they listen to the gaffer

Robbin Ruiter is hoping to build on recent improvements in performances and clean sheets. “It’s a big game but every game for us is a big game for us at the moment. We have grown as a team and our self-confidence is growing and we play better week after week. Sometimes the only way is not up. Sometimes we will fall down but we stand up again and that was really important for us last week at Wolves. We showed what we can do and what we’re capable of and I think on the ball we can still improve a lot but if we can give everyone the fighting spirit we showed there then we will be alright at Sunderland. That clean sheet was necessary. We’re all really happy with the clean sheets. If you keep a clean sheet you only need one goal and if you don’t, if you’re conceding three or four goals you’ve got to score three, four or five goals. That’s was one of the most important things and hopefully we can continue to keep clean sheets because it will be crucial for us moving forward, starting with the game with Fulham hopefully.”

Chris Coleman has also called for the lads to take positives from last weekend and finally end the home hoodoo“The situation for us is that it is a home game. The history we have got of not winning at home for so long - it is not about the opposition it is about ourselves. We have got to exercise our demons there, we need to overcome our own obstacles to make sure we change our fortune at the Stadium of Light. I know Fulham very well, I spent 10 years there as a player and manager but that won’t come into my thinking. All that will be there is thinking, ‘how do we get what we need on Saturday on the back of what I felt was a courageous performance at Wolverhampton? The guys were fabulous on the day, they stuck to their guns, stuck to the job and helped each other out – I was delighted with that.”

Everton loanee, Brendan Galloway has opened up about a frustrating start on Wearside and has expressed a determination to force his way back into the side. “My main focus now is to take each day as it comes, to train hard and do everything that I can to get in the team. As a young player, all you want to do is play football. Then I’ll take it from there. It has been tough and a learning curve, a bit of both. At the start of the season we found it difficult and it was a bit difficult for me but you have to take these challenges as they come. You have to prepare every day for it and then what will be, will be. It hurts not getting more clean sheets, especially as defenders both individually and as a unit when you work so hard but don’t manage to get a clean sheet. We have been working hard to improve that and hopefully we can start by getting a run of clean sheets. Since the new manager has come in the intensity has gone right up and training has been really good. Everyone knows he is a good manager from what he did with the Wales squad, everyone has been excited to work with him and everyone is ready to work as hard as we can for him and the football club.  There have been ups and downs but we can only look forward and to the future, obviously we can improve our league position and I think already the performances have started to improve under the new manager. Hopefully we can keep that going and get a run of wins together and climb the league table. I don’t think there has been any hangover from relegation. We have big characters in the squad, people willing to do what it takes to get it right. As long as we stick together, we will turn it around. We are confident, all the players and staff are confident we will turn it round with a bit of luck we can get back to winning ways.”

Meanwhile, Marc Wilson has hailed the impact of Chris Coleman and believes his attention to detail on the training ground will see us safe. “A lot of the lads have been walking around with something different in their stride since he came in, to be honest. He’s got a really good presence. Between now and the end of the season we will be planning on winning every game. The boys showed fantastic spirit in the Wolves game, that comes from the manager. We have been working on being defensively more solid and I thought we did that very well – we contained a good Wolves side for the majority of the game. The work we’ve been doing on the training ground, I think we’re really starting to reap the benefits out of it now. We’ve got to continue that though. It’s up to ourselves as well. The back three worked well and that comes down to working on it on the training pitch. Going into that Wolves game we had a plan and everyone realised what was expected of them. We’ve set that standard now and we can’t let it drop. We have got to go there with the mentality and show the same resilience as we did against Wolves. The resilience of the boys and the willingness to run around the field was excellent. Against Fulham we can’t take anything for granted because we have got to match the enthusiasm we showed against Wolves. We have got to try and play our kind of stuff, score some goals and another clean sheet would be a bonus. The quicker we can that off our back the better. It’s one of the worst records to have, but we’ve got to concentrate on just this game and take it game by game. We aim to do what we’re good at and concentrate on trying to get three points. After that it’s the busy festive period. It can be hard on players, especially if you pick up injuries, but it’s also a good chance for us to get some points on the board and hopefully push up the league.”

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gibson happier under coleman
asoro talks up maja

Darron Gibson admits that our wretched home form is hurting the players pride and they are determined to get their first home win in almost a year on the board this weekend. “In a way it is in the back of your mind that in the summer you could not have a club, but you just have to get on with it. I can’t go to the manager and say ‘look I have six months left and I need to play’. You have to show in training you are ready to play and that’s what I have been doing. It’s a tough question to answer [what needs to change]. If I knew the answer I’d be the manager. We have to go in and do what the manager wants us to do, do what we have been doing over the last four games. Hopefully, if we can get the tactics right and defend properly, and show more than them, we will get the result. We are not going into the game and thinking of the record and not winning. We will be going in and trying to build on the last performance. I know the fans are frustrated. They are going to be frustrated when you have not won at home for so long. We are not going into the games to lose. As a group of players we are not going in to a game to lose. Our pride is taking a hit as well, and we are under pressure. I understand that sometimes as a fan it doesn’t feel that way. It’s not nice in the dressing room, especially the way it has gone up to now. There have been low points, very low points this season. We have to go into the game and be positive. We have to try to build on the last few performances.”

From a personal perspective he believes that Chris Coleman’s tactics are bringing out the best in him and he hope to repay the gaffer's faith. “I have not read or heard anything to be fair but I think we all showed we are together. It felt good coming off the pitch going down to ten men, we set a standard at the weekend and we can’t let it drop. Off the ball was I probably better than on the ball at Wolves. I don’t think I was great on the ball. I worked hard for the team and probably sacrificed being on the ball. That’s what you have to do when you are down to ten men. Not only me, Gooch, George, Grabbs, we all sacrificed what we like to do to help the team. The week before killed us a little when we went down to ten men just before half-time. They got their first goal and it killed our confidence a bit. It wasn’t a good day after that. Obviously the fans got a bit frustrated and it wasn’t a good day. We learned from it and we knew what we had to do against Wolves. Under Simon Grayson there was a bit of pressure on us not to concede goals, it was a little bit negative. The new man has come in and everything is more positive, it’s about what we need to do this to beat them. He put a positive spin on everything which gives us more confidence. Everyone has to get on the ball, everyone is more comfortable on the ball. You could say we are more expansive, spread out, but it still feels more comfortable. The way he wants to play suits me. I think it suits most of the squad because we have some good players who can play with the ball. We showed that against Aston Villa. Coming from not being very confident on the ball and trying to get rid of it, to suddenly switch it round and play from the back I thought was very good. Credit to the manager, he has come in and been positive straightaway. If we can do that against Villa when confidence is low, imagine how good we could be if we were confident after a few wins. We would be very hard to beat. I totally understand that people have their own opinion and they are entitled to that. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but they don’t see what goes on in here. They see what goes on, on the pitch and if I don’t look fit to them then they don’t know what I have been through. Before I came here I was out injured for a year with my knee then I didn’t get back in under Martinez at Everton. When I came here the physios were worried I would get injured again, so they held me back a bit I am quite strong minded, this year they tried to hold me back in pre-season and I said ‘look I need to start playing football’. I had been in and out for long enough and I needed to play every week. To be fair they said ‘alright, we will listen to what you want as well’. It is starting to pay off at the minute.”

Robbin Ruiter also discussed the boost that the weekend’s stalemate at Wolves has given the team. "It gives the rest of the team confidence. We've had too many goals against this season. We all want to improve and we know for a defence and a goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet is the most important thing in football. If you can keep a clean sheet then we know we only need one goal to win the game. It's not only John, it's the young lads too, we're all together. Sometimes it's me to Donald Love, me to Adam Matthews or Tyias Browning to another player. We try to pep up each other, to keep us focused until the end and it's confidence for the team."

Joel Asoro has been talking up his team mate Josh Maja and thinks he has the potential to be a complete footballer. “We all talk about ‘Magic Maj’. His ability to do things you can’t even think of, his touch and of, course, his finishing make him a very special player. I felt for him over the last few months as it’s difficult to be injured, especially after what he did in pre-season, but he has one of the strongest mentalities I’ve seen. As soon as he feels comfortable with his fitness he’ll start playing games and scoring goals, people don’t even know how good he can be at this level and beyond. They are all talking about him and saying maybe he can do this or that, but I’m just waiting for him to get that first goal because once he does he’s going to go on and score a lot of them. Like I said before, he can do something from nothing and if defenders don’t know what you’re going to do, how are they meant to defend.”

Meanwhile, Under 23’s coach Elliot Dickman has heaped praise on the club’s medical staff for the recovery of Josh Maja. “He managed to nearly get 90 minutes against Liverpool and probably should’ve done, It is great for him to be on the comeback trail. He has trained a lot with the first team and done little bits with ourselves. He is there or there about and the fact that he has managed to get the 90-minutes nearly is a credit to everyone involved in his rehab programme and the medical team. They have managed him really, really well and moving forward it is up to the manager and the first-team staff to decide on where he is and what he is doing. If he is with us then great but if he is with the first team then that’s great for the academy.”

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a case for the defence
by michael lough

Ever since its inception, football has been like a continuous game of chess. Managers and coaches have forever been trying to find a way to get one step ahead of their opponents and devising ways to counter act the tactical innovation of the day.

As early as the first ever recognised international between England and Scotland in 1872, there were gasps of horror as Scotland introduced a radical system of passing the ball to one and other as opposed to the English method of charging with the ball until disposed. The style of play was so different to anything we had encountered before that FA officials questioned whether the approach north of the border was a legitimate tactic. From there the game has constantly evolved and numerous tactics and formations have gone from genius moments of inspiration to looking outdated and predictable. It’s partly what makes football such an intriguing sport and why so much media coverage is devoted to debating all aspects of the game.

Therefore, I am at a loss to explain why certain so called top managers seem to think football is a standardised sport where only their way of playing is deemed acceptable. On Saturday Wolves manager, Nuno Santo accused Sunderland of “not trying to play football.” Similarly, Jurgen Klopp came out and berated Everton for their defensive style of play at Annfield. It comes as no surprise that both comments came in the wake of disappointing home draws against sides they were expected to beat. Had they managed to emerge victorious no doubt we would have been treated to invigorating lectures on their tactical master plan and how the hours on the training field were used to execute it. But naturally, because they failed to break down their “anti-football counterparts” it was suddenly everyone else’s fault from the referee to the tea lady only putting one sugar in their pre-match cups of tea instead of their preferred two.

I’m not quite sure when it was decided that there was a “right” way to play but it is a tedious narrative that is almost mythical on occasion. It’s no coincidence that most managers that play “the right way” have better players than most of their rivals and/or more money to go out and spend on assembling their squads. Context is everything, I’m sure that in an ideal world almost every manager would like to play expansive, free flowing football but most don’t have that luxury. From a Sunderland perspective, Chris Coleman has inherited a side that is on the floor in terms of confidence and in danger at the wrong end of the table with little over £1 million invested in the squad over the summer. Contrast this to Wolves who spent £16 million on one player with Champions League pedigree, scored almost two goals a game so we were hardly going to go out and play a 4-2-4 formation and go all out attack. Similarly, Big Sam has took over an Everton side who are massively underperforming with the squad lacking balance so he was never going to go across Stanley Park to attack, especially given Everton’s atrocious record at Anfield. It’s fine to have belief in your way of working but on that given day it simply did not work and to suggest it’s anti-football to be resilient and dig out a battling draw is ridiculous. Being resolute and nailing a defensive game plan takes skill in itself, perhaps if Mr Klopp leaned how to defend out of possession a bit better himself, Liverpool could have realistic title aspirations.

For managers to come out with such patronising comments is one thing, but for supporters to adopt such an attitude is baffling. If Liverpool had gone away in Europe and scrapped a 1-1 draw they would rightly be delighted, similarly when Wolves went to Manchester City and surrendered 73% of the possession to their opponents, conceded 29 shots and hung on for a penalty shoot I don’t recall their fans criticising their tactics and apologising for “refusing to play football.” As I said earlier it’s all about context and circumstances. I’m sure Wolves weren’t getting pulses racing every week under Walter Zenga and Kenny Jacket, despite their arrogant dismissal of Sunderland’s tactics at the weekend.

We all want to see our sides play good football and sweep the opposition away, but it’s always good to remind people that part of what makes the game beautiful is the element of surprise offered by the underdog and a determined 0-0 draw can sometimes be as good as victory.

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IMPORTANCE OF WINNING AT HOME CANNOT BE UNDERESTIMATED
by paddy holis

We are almost at that stage of the season that we all love, but before we all get set to celebrate Christmas there is the small matter of two vital home games for Sunderland.  The visits of Fulham and Birmingham City to the SoL later this month are two magical opportunities to get to 20 points by the time you’re sat down watching A Christmas Carol and eating a chocolate orange (that’s Christmas done right, by the way).

Fulham are a side quietly chugging along in mid-table, which means we could easily catch them on an off day. They’ve been ok away from home but nothing to set the world on fire. I'm sure Chris Coleman will also be keen to get one over on his former side and after the debacle of his first home game in charge, he’ll be determined for his side actually turn up. If we can repeat our defensive display from Molineux then it will be hard to see the visitors breaking us down, however, we still aren’t exactly free scoring at the other end, therefore, a point from this one seems the most likely outcome.

A point against Fulham will count for very little if we fail to capitalise on the poor away form of the following weekend’s visitors, Birmingham City. You couldn’t find a duller sounding game on paper; the team with the worst home form playing the team with the worst away record. Surely it’s got 4-4 written all over it. Is it too early to call this one a relegation six-pointer? Possibly, however, by the time the full time blows we will be officially half way through the season. Being in the relegation zone at Christmas is never great for morale, regardless of the division.

Our performances at the SoL desperately need to change soon, especially considering we have some hard looking away trips over the festive period and into the New Year. We don’t want to end up being the first ever team in an English professional league to go a full calendar year without a home win, do we?

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lads must sign grabban permanently if they hope to keep striker
smog details released

Full details for Sunderland’s FA Cup third round trip to Smogland has been confirmed. The match will take place on Sunday January 6th 2018 with a 1pm kick off. Clevland Police have explained the decision to make the kick off earlier than the traditional 3pm start time. “January’s match is a significant event in the footballing calendar and Cleveland Police is working with both clubs and with the local authority to facilitate a safe, enjoyable family-friendly event. Information and advice on issues such as travel, parking and other matters will be issued during the run-up to the fixture and on the day itself.” Adult Season ticket holders are able to purchase tickets for £13, over-65s will cost £8 and under-18s £5. Tickets go on sale to season card holders from 9.30am on Wednesday, December 13th. Should any tickets remain, general sale will commence on Monday December 18th and will be priced £18 for adults, £13 for over 65s and £8 for under 18s. As always A Love Supreme will be running buses for the tie, bus passes are £15 and can be purchased in strore, over the phone or online via the ALS shop.

Speculation surrounding Lewis Grabban’s future refuses to go away as Wolves and Aston Villa are both thought to be interested in signing the in-form striker. Of course, Sunderland do have the option of joining the race to sign Grabban on a permanent deal, but it remains to be seen whether he would remain on Wearside instead of joining a club with aspirations at the top of the Championship. Naturally, finances are also an issue with the forward expected to command a transfer fee of at least £5 million. Speaking on the subject Eddie Howe said: “I am not surprised he’s attracting interest. Lewis is an outstanding player. When we signed him back when we were in the Premier League we paid a substantial fee for him. I have worked with him before and really enjoyed that process. The journey we went through together was incredible really. He did very well for me in both spells so I have got a lot of time for the player and the person. We will make the right decision for the next step in his career.”

Meanwhile, the gaffer has been discussing his midfield options and managing Paddy McNair’s ongoing injury problems. "Paddy trained today. He looked good, he has had a bit of time out. You have to manage it carefully. We tread a fine line. Paddy was out a long time, Paddy has a programme, his training schedule is slightly different. We are always looking after him and his knee. It is a fine balancing act. We also know we need our strongest team on the pitch. Whether that is Paddy having an hour or coming off the bench. Same for Didier Ndong, who needs minutes, probably in the Under-23s because he has been out for four or five weeks. It is a long time. But then we might need to use Didier because there is no one else! That is where we are. Whoever comes back into this team, or this squad, the bar has been set by the players fit in terms of attitude and mentality. The players need to be street smart on the pitch and I thought all our players did that Saturday. It is not just about running around. You have to be smart, think smart, see what is happening and make good decisions consistently and Darron Gibson has been doing that. We know he is a very good passer. We need a certain job from our midfielders, whether it is Gibbo, Catts, Paddy or Didier. It may change game to game and they need to exercise the gameplan. Him and Catts did that, obviously we lost Catts and Gibbo was in there with young George Honeyman and Lynden Gooch and we controlled them really well. Gibbo did well and I had no worries putting Elliot Embleton on for his debut Gibbo spoke to him, told him where to be. Elliot has that assured confidence; you need a bit of arrogance, not too much. He was calm and composed, looked like he had been there before and I was really pleased for him."

Lyden Gooch believes that it is his responsibility to nail down a set position if he wants to stay in the starting 11. “I think for a young player it has been difficult as you have to establish yourself with every manager. For me, the main thing is to lock down an actual position. I have played everywhere, sometimes that might be a big reason why I can’t lock down a place because I play in so many different positions. Hopefully I can do that under this manager and become more of a mainstay in the team. I see myself more as a No 10. I have played as a striker this season and done well at times, I like to play behind a main striker. That’s where I can do more damage I suppose and create more opportunities and assists and goals and that is what I did coming through the Academy. Hopefully that can be a place where I can play. I am flexible and can play in multiple positions and fill in. I have been playing as a striker, out wide and also in midfield against Aston Villa. I need to nail down a certain position. It has been a difficult period for everyone but it has been great working under the new manager. He is very direct in his approach and what he wants from his players. That is good. He is very clear. It has been really good so far, everybody has been working tremendously hard on the training pitch and hopefully we can start to pick up the results. It was a fantastic point at Wolves, everyone dug in, you could see the togetherness. I am just happy to be in the team and hopefully I can stay in the team, I worked as hard as I could.”

Fellow youngster, Elliot Embleton has expressed his pride at making his senior Sunderland debut but has vowed to keep working hard to develop his game.“It was unbelievable. It is what I have dreamt about as a kid and having been so close a few times, but not getting on, it has been something I’ve waited a long time for. When I got the chance to come on it was special. I was buzzing. I just wanted to get on and get my first minutes on the pitch. I couldn’t believe it, I was just really happy. My family and I have worked hard for a few years to get to this level. To get on and play for the first team just tops everything off that I have been doing. But I have got to keep on working hard now and hopefully I can get some more minutes. It’s just about progression and trying to get better and better. You need to get better at each stage, obviously from the under-18s to the under-23s and then to the first-team. I’ve just got to keep working hard now.”

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coleman stuck in the middle with short
allardyce wants medical assurances over kone

Chris Coleman has been very open about the need to sell players to free up funds for any potential incomings in the January transfer window. One saleable asset we have is Lamine Kone, Sam Allardyce is rumoured to be interested in a reunion with the Ivorian international but is thought to have concerns over his injury record and will be requesting detailed information on the subject from Sunderland. Lewis Grabban has also grabbed more attention from the Midlands as Aston Villa have been credited with an interest in our top scorer. Bournemouth have the option of recalling Grabban in January and it is thought the Cherries would be keen on cashing in on him.

The gaffer has admitted that managing Sunderland is about juggling a number of external factors but he can only concentrate on what’s happening on the pitch. “You know what can happen here when things are going well, but unfortunately we are at the other end now. How do we start building to get back there. It is literally dismantling and rebuilding – I can’t be any more clear than that. We need to do that, but at the same time we have a fight on our hands to get away from where we are now. It’s like we are in the middle of a tornado. There are a lot of insecurities. Will Ellis be the owner? Will there be a new owner? Those are battles we have to fight, and things we have to keep a grip on. All I can do is concentrate on what matters, and that is results.”

Looking ahead to the weekend, Coleman believes that the only way they will turn round their home fortunes is by showing mental toughness but he is encouraged by what he is seeing from his side so far. “The early signs are okay. It’s game by game, step by step, and we have got to keep building. It’s all about what happens on the training ground. I don’t care what team you are, you get your success on the training ground. It’s resilience, diligence, all those nasty words, accountability, and the better you get at those things, the better results you get. I haven’t got a magical wand but I know how to motivate and organise a team. That is the very least we can do work hard. The buzz words now are playing between the lines and creating overloads. Those nasty words I mentioned before turn you into a hard team to play against and means you end up getting better results. It is not about a one-off game and having that same spirit next week. I know we are at home and the pressure is on us and the fans are super unhappy and I don’t blame them for that because we haven’t won for so long at home. But we’ve got to shown that same resilience at home, be brave. We’ve got to find the answers to turn it around at home and make sure we do it.”

The under 23 head coach, Elliot Dickman has given an update on long term absentee, Josh Maja. “Josh is there or thereabouts and it is a credit to all those involved in his rehab.The medical team have managed him well and moving forward the manager and first team staff will decide on where he is and what he is doing. If he is with us then great, if he is with the first team then fantastic for the academy.” Speaking on the potential January moves to Falkirk for Tommy Robson and Andrew Nelson he added, “Andrew had an ankle issue, that’s why he wasn’t in the squad against Liverpool. Tommy was not in the squad with a view to probably looking to move on come January. Nothing is confirmed as far as I am aware.” Nelson has been rumoured to be heading out on loan north of the border while Robson could be set to leave on a free transfer.

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coleman hails o'shea
ruiter praises the gaffer's methods

Chris Coleman has praised the influence of experienced defender, John O’Shea in the wake of our battling 0-0 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers. “He has had over 100 caps for his country, he has played at the top level all of his career. Everyone else sees the finished article on the pitch but I see him during the week, in training, and in the dressing room, with the younger players. He is very calm, he is an intelligent boy and we will need that calmness and that professionalism. No one is better at that than  John O’Shea, I promise you. He has been fabulous from the first day I walked into the club. He has been here a long time. He has been involved a lot of relegation battles and he has come through most of them. He is important to us. I see him every day, around the place and on the training pitch, and we need that experience.”

He also explained the rationale behind dropping Aiden McGeady, sighting tactical reasons rather than any personal grievances with the winger. “I’ll change the system and I’ll change personnel. It’s about everybody and everybody has to understand that. Maybe next Saturday the team and the shape will be different to last Saturday. I’m going to have to take a look at that but nothing against Aiden at all. He is a very creative player. We have struggled offensively and defensively but we’ve got to start somewhere and went with a shape and personnel today I felt was best to face the opposition. It may be different next week. It’s horses for courses.”

Looking ahead to Saturday, Coleman insists that he is not bothered about how our next home win comes about as long as we get it sooner rather than later. “I think we were always confident because, without getting away from the situation we are in, there are a lot of games to play and points to play for. We are confident that we can get out of trouble but it’s going to be a long, hard season. We know that. We’ve got to have more performances like that and, when you do that, you get better results, and that’s why there is a better all-round feeling at the club. But it is literally game by game. We can enjoy today but there are a lot of games to play and the good thing is, like all the teams that are down there at the minute, it is in our own hands. There are enough games and points, enough time, to get away from where we are. We need to win 1-0 at home. If it is swashbuckling football and we win 3-0 or 4-0, then fantastic. But if we win 1-0 and it’s a controversial goal, I couldn’t care less. There is only us that is going to put a smile on everyone’s face and that means we have to win at home. Next week will be just as hard as this week but it will be the psychological factor and it is only us who can get over that.”

Meanwhile, Robbin Ruiter has again praised Coleman’s methods and believes his attention to detail will see us climb the table. “Of course it was a different shape than we’re used to in the last couple of months but it worked pretty well. We train on what he says and the manager gave some tips and helped us with how to set up. We worked on it really hard and I’m really glad it paid off. A lot of things have changed for us. It’s a different manager. Simon was a great guy and a good manager but this manager works in a different way and we work a lot on how the shape is and how we have to be in our organisation. If everybody knows his role in the organisation it’s easier to rely on each other.  So if John makes two steps one way it’s important that Ty or Marc do the same, things like that. Before we didn’t always do that and now we can rely on each other and everybody has more confidence because of that. He gives people confidence. After a mistake it’s not a case of the only way being to the stands or the bench. He wants us to play football from the back when it’s possible and when we do we can make mistakes, that’s no problem. It’s all about intention. He’d rather you make a mistake with the right intention than be scared and kick the ball away, and that’s a big difference. You know you are able to make mistakes. You are allowed to make mistakes, but not too often of course. I’ve said before, it’s normal that the fans at Sunderland are grumpy over the last couple of months. We didn’t show them our best and Sunderland is their life. If you see how many people were in the stadium again, it’s not half an hour’s drive, it’s a couple of hours and they all came to support us. That gives us a big boost and that’s really important to show what we can do. It’s important for the fans to see we were fighting. They all know we can make mistakes and that’s no problem. They deserve from us that we fight for every ball and do what we can and if we are sloppy or not concentrated they will be angry. I think they were proud of us and we were happy to have them there.”

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post wolves craic…
REACTION

Sunderland grinded out a 0-0 draw away at Wolves in a game where a stupid Lee Cattermole sending off nearly compromised our stellar game plan. Luckily, our younger lads covered themselves in glory by stepping up and compensating for the gap in midfield. A fantastic point away from home that we can be proud of. Chris Coleman had this to say afterwards:  "I am really proud of them today because we have shown a fantastic team spirit," he said. "That's what we needed today to get through that. Everyone of them produced a big performance and stayed strong. They stayed together and for me this clean sheet here is just as good as three points at the end of the day. They were brilliant, I can't praise them enough. Our fans made the journey and were brilliant once again. They were noisy and stayed with us because I think they sensed we needed them. But yeah it was marvellous, brilliant for Sunderland today and we need these performances and these moments for a bit of heart and confidence."

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On the Buses…
als info

ALS run coaches to every away game that Sunderland AFC play from our base opposite the Stadium of Light, click here for a full info, prices and ways to book...

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ALS shop opening times...
we never close

Our trading hours are as follows: Monday-Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm all year round. On weekend matchdays we open five hours before the match starts and close at kick off. We are also open for 30 mins after the match finishes. For midweek home games, we open at 9.30am and close at kick off. Please feel free to call 0191 565 4422, pop into our shop, or click here to go straight to our on-line shop and peruse our wares.

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