@SunderlandAFC fans. Your support has been sensational. You have wanted to believe in us and have been inspirational. I appreciate a lot are frustrated with the p/offs. We can though still do this. We can reflect later but our best chance is with ur backing – together please???
— stewart donald (@stewartdonald3) May 4, 2019
A quick glance at our fellow-contenders for promotion via the playoffs shows we have Wembley previous against two of the three – and it’s not encouraging. Portsmouth beat us there in the Checkatrade Trophy final in March and plenty of us will never forget the anguish of 1998 against Charlton.
So if hoodoos exist, they need to be broken. Here’s your chance to say whether and how we’ll make a start on Saturday night.
For the semis, our wretched end-of-season run has at least meant we cannot play Pompey again in the final. For these games, read Stadium of Light and Fratton Park instead of Wembley. And all we have to do over two legs is what we’ve failed to do in three games so far this season.
Our route back to the national stadium would have seemed a lot less problematic had we avoided losing and drawing quite so often as the last day of the League One programme loomed. Doncaster are a likeable club but we’ve dominated them twice in the league and would have been clear favourites to coast to Wembley had they been this weekend’s opponents.
For the purposes of predicting scores, we will divide the playoffs into two or, as we fervently hope, three. Just treat each game as a one off and the first leg against Pompey presents you with a straightforward task of telling us the final score. The format will necessarily change for the second leg.
The usual mug awaits a Sunderland-supporting winner – be first to be right and have a UK delivery address – and something suitable would be found for a Pompey fan.
Almost certainly, another trip to Wembley for Sunderland would inspire Monsieur Salut to come up with a better prize.
There may or may not be a Pompey “Who are You?”. An invitation has gone out but we are very relaxed about whether a fourth of the season, let alone a fifth next week, is really necessary.
Have a go. And Ha’way the Lads.