Interview on Burnley page:
1) So, you have won away from home…wish we could do the same more often! How do you think the season will go from this game onwards?
It seriously could go either way, we still looked shaky in the first 15 minutes or so against Hull City last week and they let us off the hook at 1-0 up by not punishing us more. We grew in confidence and the rest as they say was history. Sunderland though have a far stronger side than Hull and if we fold it is almost certainly relegation. We have to keep the new found passion & commitment going. I can take losing if we looked up for it and tried our best, something which until Hull has been sadly lacking in the main since Laws arrived.
Our away form is actually looking better than our home form at the moment. In the away game before Hull we were unlucky against Wigan at the DW, conceding a goal in the last minute of added time to lose 1-0. We played well though so we have to continue the away form and hope for the best
2) Are you happy with Brian Laws or was that whole incident the reason you are amongst the bottom three?
That is the biggest topic we have going on Clarets message boards at the moment! Most Clarets fans were uninspired by the appointment of Brian Laws. He came to the club with no Premier League experience having just been sacked at Championship level by Sheffield Wednesday. The appointment was viewed as the cheap alternative, totally lacking ambition and cementing the belief that the Board was more concerned with preparing for the Championship than meaning business in the top flight. The Board quoted some dodgy report from the accountants Deloitte & Touche (or ‘Dolittle &Spend Nowt’ as I now call ’em) to support the appointment suggesting Laws was the best manager in the Championship working with small budgets. Yeah great apart from a few things like we are currently in the Premier League, the club he had last were in the relegation zone one League below us and despite Laws having taken charge of 700+ games he has had a win rate of only 30 odd %!!! Clarets fans are fair though, we were willing to give our former player a chance and if he still manages to save us from the drop then he could go from ‘zero’ to ‘hero’ overnight. It is not looking good though with Laws having only two wins and one draw to his credit in 14 games. A certain section of the crowd are also now verbally booing the gaffer so it’s not a healthy situation. I feel sorry for Laws, he had a hard act to follow. There is no doubt that Owen ‘Judas’ Coyle leaving the way he did at such a critical time whilst taking all our backroom staff with him ripped the heart out of this club but again this had more to do with the Board lacking ambition and not being prepared to go into some debt to give the manager more money. I have no doubt though that had Coyle stayed, his energy and drive on the pitch alone would have kept us up based on home form and the ‘Fortress Turf Moor’ effect which has sadly been destroyed since Christmas. He inspired belief in the players to punch above their weight whereas it seems Laws is struggling to motivate them at least until we beat Hull. I hate Coyle for what he did to this club and find it hard to get over it! Every time I see him on the box now I develop Tourette’s Syndrome!
3) Did you predict the league would be this tough or have other things went against you?
We never thought this would be easy, especially since we did not have a decent budget to even try. Our squad is basically Championship level quality with the players on the smallest salaries in the top flight and for a time we punched above our weight. Our problem though was that Coyle started off well and the belief we could survive began to take hold. Coyle leaving was the biggest single thing that did for us in my opinion (see 2 above)
4) Are you confident for travelling to the Stadium where we have lost only two home games all season?
If we had been beaten by Hull, I think you would have murdered us! You still might if the team that played so badly against Rovers and Man City turns up. The team though will have at least been buoyed by that Hull victory and will have the belief now on the road that they can win(at least I hope so!)
5) What are your opinions on SAFC and Steve Bruce this season?
Steve Bruce seems an amiable guy and generally a good manager. I guess you can’t really judge the guy on one season’s performance and next season could be key for you. I think if anything I was slightly surprised by Sunderland’s inconsistency this season especially when for a time you seemed to be dropping down the table and looking in danger of being dragged into a relegation battle. I like the Mackems though, you are a great bunch of fans and I always have good banter with your lot even though I haven’t a clue what you are saying sometimes!!
6) Which player would you love to have from Sunderland?
Well the obvious answer would be Darren Bent but with a wage cap of £15k/week there is no chance there so we would have to go for someone who is within our budget range! Does your tea-lady play footy then?
7) Score predictions please?
I will go for 1-1 which sadly wont be enough probably to save us from the drop
PS We have a thread going in our Matchday Mayhem forum on Vital Burnley where Clarets fans and Sunderland fans can banter and play nicely. You may like to promote this and get some of your lot over?
Thread is called: ‘First Tigers, Now Black Cats!’
Match Day Banter
Interview From T’Other Side
Interview on Burnley page: