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Rochdale 1 v 2 Sunderland
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 6th April 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Interview with a Sunderland fan
Friday, 5th Apr 2019 10:00 by Col

Sunderland come to town this weekend in case you hadn't noticed, so we've spoke to one of their supporters about how they've found life in League One.

1) Who are ya and how long have you been watching Sunderland?
My name is Alex and I’m currently a contributor for A Love Supreme (ALS) and have been writing for them since August 2018. I’ve been a fan of the club for all my life and been going to games since I was about six or seven, I got a season ticket ten years ago, and have had once since.

2) It seems like for the first time in years, Sunderland fans are actually enjoying this season. Is that fair?
Yeah definitely, it’s simple really when you start winning games the atmosphere around the club gets better. Over the past few years we’ve been simply awful, we had an owner who stopped caring and the mentality at the club was dour. Now, we’ve got a new set of owners and the club just feels different.

3) We’ve all watched the Netflix documentary. What was the Sunderland fans’ views on it?
While, at times it was tough to watch, it went down really well up here. One of the biggest positives of the whole programme was that it showed what it was like for the fans, it was a personal documentary and it showed how it truly affected the people of Sunderland. There are plans to be a season two which will show the club in a different light.

4) What’s different about the club now compared to how it’s been in previous seasons?
I mentioned it previously, the whole demeanour has changed, it doesn’t feel like it used to be in the best possible way. We’ve almost been given a new lease of life and everyone involved with the club is just a lot more cheerful. The trip to Wembley embodied the new regime, thousands of Sunderland fans in Trafalgar Square drinking and just having a good time was a special moment.

5) What’s been the best bit about being in League One this season?
The best part I would say is winning games, we’ve got that winning mentality back at the club which I haven’t seen in god knows how long. The trip to Wembley was an obvious highlight but going from a whole year winless at home to now being unbeaten at home is a heck of a turn around.

6) What’s been the worst bit?
For me the worst thing about League One is the referees. Man, they’re awful. It’s not even just decisions against us either, the inconsistency of refs this season is embarrassing. Refs can’t be perfect and it’s a tough job, but some are inept.

7) If Sunderland fail to win promotion this season, will this season be classed as a failure?
Personally, I think it would be, we’ve got the biggest budget by a mile this season and got a good squad. It’s been a huge turn around with players, staff and owners all coming into the club and I’m not surprised we’ve not walked the League, but I’m relatively confident we’ll finish in the top two.

8) Any thoughts on Rochdale?
I think it’ll be a tough game, you’ve got a lot to play for in getting out of the relegation zone and Ian Henderson has 17 goals this season which is very impressive in a team near the bottom.

9) Give us your all time Sunderland XI
Wow that’s a tough question, I’m going to do this based on the players I’ve seen personally over the past decade or so of being a fan.
Jordan Pickford, Phil Bardsley, Younes Kaboul, John O’Shea, Danny Rose; Steed Malbranque, Lee Cattermole, Stephane Sessegnon, Julio Arca; Jermain Defoe, Kevin Phillips. Classic 4-4-2, don't think we'd do to well defensively, but we'd score some goals.

10) Any predictions for this Saturday?
I think it’ll be close, we’ve played 120 minutes at Wembley and the trip Accrington in less than a week so there will be some tired legs out there, but I’ll back us to win 2-1.

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