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July 29, 2019

Bryan Oviedo has finally left SAFC and joined FC Copenhagen with immediate effect, which saves us £2.5m a year in wages.

 

Meanwhile, Jack Ross reckons he’s a lot more prepared for the coming season than he was this time last year! Let’s hope he’s right and we get out of this league this time. Ross said: "Things have felt a lot calmer for me. Ironically, people might say otherwise as the results were better 12 months ago. But it’s felt a lot more right if that makes sense – the time I’ve had to work with the players means I’ve seen it develop on the pitch as well. Last year it was about trying to cobble a squad together for the summer and even going into the first game of the season it wasn’t ideal, we weren’t hoping for the best but it was after doing all we could. And we have brought in five, added to what was already here – so it has felt a lot better and settled and hopefully we will see the benefits as the season goes on. Pressure? I don’t think there’s any more this time. I feel the same. Irrespective of whatever league I am managing this club in there is pressure on because it’s a big club and people come wanting to see their team win. If anything, from my own point of view, a personal point, I feel a bit less pressure because I have proven I can manage in England – there was a lot of good things about last season too. The pressure is always present here – it’s always there and if I didn’t want it I wouldn’t take the challenge on of managing this club. The pressure is always on us to be the top of the league and getting promoted, but I know that and lived with it for the last 12 months of my life and I will live with it again.’’

 

In other news, Marc McNulty has been talking himself up and seems to think he can do the business in League One. "I remember the first season I came down to Sheffield United. I was only 21, in and out the team, but I scored goals in League One then,” said McNulty. “I'm older now, more experienced and a lot better player now than I was then. I'm confident in myself and I don't need to prove anything to anybody. I need to work hard, get my head down and repay the gaffer for bringing me here. I spoke to the gaffer at length before I signed and even in that last couple days at training. He sees me as playing in behind the striker, which is great. I'm pretty flexible and I prefer to be playing around other players so I think that will get the best out of me. The manager knows that because we had a good long chat, but he's just working on the boys being able to adapt between a couple of formations. As a striker, if you get yourself in the team and get a run of games you always look to double figures. Whatever number that may be, double figures is always the target."

 

Meanwhile, Stewart Donald has suggested that there are more new players to come, but probably later in the window. “We’ve got plenty of money to invest in the team, the thing is we don’t want to waste money,” he said. “We could have signed George Dobson three weeks ago for double what we paid for him. We can buy the players we need to buy if we think it’s correct. We need a sustainable, sensible model that attracts the right type of person (as an investor). If we need three or four more players it’s down to Jack. I’ve trusted Jack, I’ve backed my man, I’ve said he’s the man. If he wants two or three more players, we’ll have two or three more players. We’re trying to balance it so if we get a couple in, we get a couple out but sometimes you have to turn around and say like we have at the moment, ‘Look, we want a couple more and we’ll have a slightly bigger squad.’ (The wage bill) doesn’t have to go down at all. We’re about online with what we financially expect this season. There’s not been an awful lot of activity in the Championship because there’s been a lot of conversation about financial fair play and more than half of the clubs in the league above are in a very interesting position where they’re going to have to bring their wage bill down substantially so everything is shaping up for us to be able to compete (if Sunderland can get into the second tier). We can have a competitive budget in whatever tier we’re in.”

 

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At the back end of the 1980s, football fanzines began to sweep the country and in 1989 we were presented with a new vehicle on which to enjoy some of this ride – A Love Supreme. ALS was a place we could all go to celebrate and commiserate being a Sunderland fan. Win, lose or draw, the pages of the fanzine became solace for many of us as we stumbled our way through our day to day lives, punctuated by the ups and downs of more match days than any of us care to remember.

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