More Gloom

Another away day passes, another abject display. Yes, we had some players missing, but then so did Gillingham. What we didn't have was a single shot at goal, that sums up the performance.

I am getting sick of reading other team’s managers saying Sunderland should go up because they've got the best squad of players. The real question is, if we've got this magnificent squad why are we stuck in mid table in the sort of a slump reminiscent of our two relegation seasons?

The alarm bells are ringing. After the Scunthorpe debacle the feeling in the pub from a group of fans was downbeat and somewhat dejected. Many are already questioning the appointment of Phil Parkinson. We could not beat a carpet at the moment.

For a lot of fans, it's not the results but the manner of the defeats, a sort of surrender of the second half is taking place in most games. Is this a lack of fitness, or just a lack of desire? Perhaps our squad is, as they're proving, just another Third Division team. The need for a rapid improvement is now becoming an urgent issue.

Dear ALS

The lad and me enjoyed our trip to Gillingham. Nice hotel, [King Charles - recommend it to any staying over for the league game]. Pleasant game atmosphere - evening feel, everyone relaxed, close to pitch, individual voices heard. No drums, most of the acid from Lincoln and Shrewsbury was spent and regardless of the result and the performance we felt the lads were all trying - we didn't fault the effort.

But the manager's comments afterwards made us wonder if we'd gone to the wrong game by mistake. We certainly didn't see the same game he did. But that's perception, what got to us most was some of his thoughts.

Gillingham play a certain sort of game so that's the game we were in - er, does that mean we had to play their game. We held our own and it came down to it, they had the moment of class to win it. Are we really content to be more or less equal to the Gillinghams and Shrewsburys

Out of all the cups third week in November, mid table in the league - guess that's exactly who and where we are.

Barry Conlin