Methven Clarifies

Charlie Methven has responded to criticism claiming he called fans who watch illegal streams of SAFC games in pubs parasites. “A fan can’t be a parasite, it’s the pub owners doing this who are,” said Methven. “It’s up to all of the businesses in Sunderland to try and support each other. I’ve had quite a few people say that more and more people are in pubs in the city before and after games now, which is brilliant. But you are doing this kind of business, trying to make a bit of extra money on the side (by showing illegal streams), then I don’t think you are doing your civic duty when the club is in a very difficult situation financially at the moment. If a supporter says to me that they are not going to bother coming to the game and sit in a pub and watch it on an illegal stream, I would question if they are a supporter. I don’t criticise anyone who wants to watch a match in a pub like that, but I reserve the right not to call them supporters. Being a supporter means you are supporting the club.”

Jack Ross is looking forward to seeing a sea of red and white at Coventry on Saturday and hopes the players rise to the challenge. “The amount of supporters we’ve taken to away fixtures is incredible,” said Ross. “It undoubtedly helps the players here at the Stadium of Light and away from home, but we’ve never shied away from making them aware of the expectations placed on their shoulders. There’s no point in pretending it isn’t there, it is. We go to Coventry with that expectation and responsibility of representing the 5,000 that travel, but it’s a group that are keen to handle that. I think they’ve shown with each passing week – even with having the setback of losing a game – that they are keen to respond to that. I’m really looking forward to it and to manage a team that has that incredibly loyal fan base, and travels in those numbers, is a responsibility on my shoulders as well, but we’ll look to replicate large parts of our last performance this weekend.”

Meanwhile, Tom Flanagan hopes that he’s done enough to keep his place in the starting line up after impressing in a back three against Rochdale. “I’d like to think I’ve given the manager a bit of a problem now, and that he’ll keep me in the team,” said Flanagan. “That said, I’m happy to do my bit and as the manager said [after the game], and I totally agree with him, it’s going to take 30 people – and maybe a few more – to get us promoted at the end of the season. As and when I’m needed, and whatever position, I’ll be there waiting. I was pleased with the game against Rochdale, especially after last weekend as it wasn’t a great performance from the boys. We had to answer our critics and prove to the manager we can get up and get nasty with teams, as well as playing the good football that we want. We were pleased with the performance but the first thing we said was that we should have taken a clean sheet, and that’s another sign of a good team.”

All 2,628 tickets for Bradford City away, on Saturday 6 October, are now sold out. You can book transport for Coventry and Bradford via ALS here…