Vital Football

Latest Reading FC News

The Opposition View - Sunderland

The Opposition View - Sunderland
With great thanks to Vital Sunderland editor Tom, we ask a few questions about our game on Saturday. We quiz him about Sunderland's expectations for the season, their danger men and his prediction for the game.

-----------------------------------------------------------

1) What are your expectations for the season?

In short, an improvement on last season.

Had the initial impact of Martin O'Neill been replicated throughout the entire season, i.e. had Steve Bruce not started the campaign, I think we could quite rightly hoped for a top-half finish. With a couple more new faces & the retention of Stephane Sessegnon I see no reason why we can't finish in the top-half this season. The squad remains largely the same as that which was superb under O'Neill for the first few months of his reign so why not?

The expectation, i.e. the bare minimum, has to be to equal last season's finish of 13th. We've already added more quality than we had last season so I cannot see that goal not being achieved.

2) Who are the player/s to look out for?

It's boring, and probably predictable to say, but Sessegnon is the key man, star man, whatever label you want to attach!

He has however missed a good chunk of pre-season with injury and is feeling his way back into full fitness. Such is the dearth of attacking talent available to MON that he will still feature despite probably not being 100 per cent fit. Our top-scorer last season from an advanced midfield/supplementary striker role, we'll be expecting double figures from him this season.

Irish international James McClean will also be key. He exploded onto the scene under O'Neill after Bruce refused to play someone he himself signed. As the story goes, a number of senior players at the club were so impressed by the former Derry City winger last term that they were begging Bruce to pick him, but to no avail. He's pacey, tricky, hard-working and possesses the same explosive quality that Sessegnon also has in abundance.

3) How do you feel Martin O`Neill has done so far as Sunderland boss?

The tail-off towards the end of last season was disappointing, but considering the size of the squad and the number of injuries suffered it was fairly inevitable. O'Neill is afterall all about winning the ball back quickly and that can be quite physically draining on a small squad.

So far so good though. He's moved on a few players who were a drain on resources and is keen to put his own mark on the squad but for one reason or another it just isn't happening in the transfer market. Carlos Cuellar and Louis Saha have arrived on free transfers and look good additions on paper but more re-enforcements are needed.

4) If you could sign one more player this transfer window, who would it be and why?

I'm very much torn between a proper full-back as Kieran Richardson wants out and Phil Bardsley is sidelined for the foreseeable future. However, I'm going to go for a striker as we only have two senior forwards in Fraizer Campbell and Saha. Di Dong-Won and Connor Wickham are both 'ones for the future still' and the pursuit of Wolves' striker Steven Fletcher says that O'Neill is fully aware that another striker is desperately needed.

5) If you could offload any player from your team, who would it be and why?

Ahmed Elmohamady. Not disciplined enough to be a full-back, not intelligent or canny enough to be a winger. He is good in the air though - perhaps that's what Bruce saw in him!

6) Expected line up for the game?

Mignolet; Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Richardson; Larsson, Cattermole (c), Colback, McClean; Sessegnon; Campbell.

7) What's your prediction for the game?

A tight affair with Sunderland still not in first gear and Reading smelling blood. 2-1 to the Black Cats.
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football

Writer:Josh
Date:Thursday August 23 2012
Time: 8:08PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Reading Articles

Who Will Reading Face In 2016/17 (3/5/16)

With less than a handful of games remaining in the 2015/16 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

Reading outclassed by Preston

Reading's last home game of the season ended with defeat and made it 3 home defeats in a row.

Preston came to the Mad Stad and simply were the better side and should've won by more.

Br

Nicky Hammond to West Brom

Hammond leaves.

Stats: Reading v Preston

All the stats from Reading (1) vs (2) Preston, Madejski Stadium, 30th April Att:

Archived Vital Reading Articles

Vital Reading articles from

Site Journalists

thurlow97
Editor email
Profile
Josh
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

What Striker do you want to see here?
Suggested By:
Dom Solanke11%
Lewis Grabban9%
Jamie Mackie14%
Carlton Cole 9%
Nahki Wells57%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Burnley 45 25 15 5 90 34
2 Middlesbrough 45 26 10 9 88 32
3 Brighton 45 24 16 5 88 30
4 Hull City 45 23 11 11 80 30
5 Derby County 45 21 15 9 78 24
6 Sheff Wed 45 19 17 9 74 22
7 Cardiff 45 17 16 12 67 5
8 Ipswich 45 17 15 13 66 1
9 Birmingham 45 16 14 15 62 4
10 Brentford 45 18 8 19 62 1
11 Preston 45 15 16 14 61 0
12 Leeds Utd 45 14 16 15 58 -8
13 Q.P.R. 45 13 18 14 57 -1
14 Wolves 45 13 16 16 55 -6
15 Blackburn 45 12 16 17 52 -2
16 Reading 45 13 13 19 52 -5
17 Forest 45 12 16 17 52 -5
18 Bristol City 45 13 13 19 52 -16
19 Huddersfield 45 13 12 20 51 -7
20 Rotherham 45 13 10 22 49 -14
21 Fulham 45 11 15 19 48 -14
R Charlton 45 9 13 23 40 -37
R MK Dons 45 9 12 24 39 -29
R Bolton 45 5 15 25 30 -39
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Reading Results (view all)

Reading Fixtures (view all)

May 7 2016 12:30PM : Blackburn Rovers (a)
Sky Bet Championship