Sunderland in town...

Saturday 18 August 2001

Sunderland previewed by Makem Mel Easterhouse

We've been looking forward to our visit to Fulham. Good old-fashioned terraces (or so we thought) and the chance to leap around a bit when the goals hit the back of the net. (Well hopefully!)

Then I find out when speaking to your website Manager that most of us will be sitting after all. I think it's the only time I've ever heard of fans swapping tickets so they can stand up!

On a more serious note, this being written before our opening day game against Ipswich I think most of us Sunderland supporters would say that we are fairly confident of another good season at the top. I certainly think we can improve on last season's 7th place and find our way in to Europe.

With your lot playing at Old Trafford on Sunday, you have to wonder just how much that game will take out of the players both mentally and physically? This I believe will work to our advantage.

What does the average Sunderland fan think about Fulham? A good footballing side that deservedly played their way out of a tough division last season. Tigana is without question one of the most talented Managers in the league. But having had a look at your squad it seems to lack any real big names (does that matter - who knows?) but more importantly perhaps, it also lacks depth.

I feel that our result at Craven Cottage on Wednesday will all depend on how Fulham do at Old Trafford. If you bring away anything from the Theatre of Dreams then you'll be buzzing with confidence and a tougher proposition on Wednesday.

It's your first home game of the season and the fans will be well and truly up for our visit. So we'll be a lot more concerned should you get some kind of a result at Man Utd.

We are obviously confident that we can grab all three points. Having said that, if we can start off our campaign with a win against Ipswich then I'd be reasonably happy with a draw at Fulham.

Enjoy your season Fulham fans. I've been to the Cottage some years ago and remember the place and the supporters with fondness after breaking down and receiving some help from two home supporters who eventually got my car going. So if they are reading this, your back, and so are we! Good luck for the season, after Wednesday of course...

Probable Sunderland squad:

Sorenson, Macho, Haas, Gray, Williams, Thome, Craddock, Varga, Schwarz, Arca, Medina, McCann, Rae, Kilbane, Phillips, Quinn, Laslandes, Bellion.