Date:Friday December 2 2011
With the game against Sunderland coming up, Vital Sunderland Editor safc123 got in touch and asked me a few questions. that interview can be read on Vital Sunderland.
In return I asked him his immediate thoughts following the departure of manager Steve Bruce.
What are your thoughts going into the game now that Steve Bruce has gone?
I think that quite often when a manager is removed things go one of two ways: either the team gets something of a second wind and get a few results as they look to impress the manager or nothing changes as the players have lost all motivation and are hoping for a way out. I obviously hope for the former but Wolves are going to be up for this game, they can smell blood and Sunderland are vulnerable.
The first goal will be absolutely crucial, if Sunderland get it, everything's good again; sacking Steve Bruce is immediately vindicated and all is well. If not, then it's the same old woes and the abuse turns toward the players.
What impact will this have on the fans?
A section of the club's supporters were not behind Bruce from day one owing to the trivial matter of his birthplace up the road, and subsequently his Mag status. That dissenting minority increased to record levels at the weekend in the Wigan defeat and once you've so vociferously lost the support of the fans, there is no room for a comeback, even if you do win a couple on the bounce. I think Bruce's departure will unite the fans and in adversity you often see the strength of support fully. I hope that it will have a positive impact on our support at Molinuex and overall.
On the team?
It should give them a lift.
The players were not playing for Bruce. The performances this season have been pretty dire, and that run of poor performances and result stretches back to the turn of the year really. He is quite an old-school manager and with a young team I'm not too sure he ever drummed into them what he wanted. As a result we got poor performances and poor football without any real clear style. Now he is gone the pressure is off to play more expansive free-flowing football (hopefully) and again, hopefully, they will be out to impress Eric Black initially followed by whoever comes in.
On the performance we can expect against Wolves?
They have to be up for it. This is a crucial game afterall, two fairly established Premier League sides looking to plough their way up the league. Live on Sky, the first opportunity to show prospective managers of the club what talent there is at the Stadium of Light - if they don't lift their game we will all be disappointed. As previously eluded to, once a manager has left there is quite often something of an up-turn in form and I expect to see most players lift their individual game by a few percent.
This morning Martin O'Neill has been linked with the position, he is a well known motivator and could lift the players even further. Do we meet them at the wrong time? Or is it best to get in there quickly before he can have had much of an affect on the squad?
Tell us what you think
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Date:Friday December 2 2011
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