What you think about Sunderland vs Southend (updated)

Jake: ‘time for a Will Grigg hat trick?’

Well, I asked
and you’ve started to answer, says Monsieur Salut.

Because our Comments section is still inaccessible after recent technical nightmares, I suggested posting your scoreline predictions at Salut! Sunderland’s Facebook group but also invited comments on the bigger Sunderland picture.

Since your comments can still be seen behind the scenes if you attempt to post them in the normal way, they can be copied and pasted to a new article such as this.

Phil Davison, a Mackem exile in Mexico, set the ball rolling, starting with his SAFC-Southend prediction. Other comments will be added as they arrive and/or appear at the Facebook group.

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Sunderland vs Southend: most Black Cats eat shrimps but are Shrimpers edible?

Jake: ‘time for a Will Grigg hat trick?’

NB: our technical problems have not been completely fixed. Readers cannot post comments. We are working on this.

In the meantime, you can always have your say on anything that appears here, or for that matter any SAFC topics which do not, at Salut! Sunderland’s Facebook group. Click on any of the preceding four words. If you are told that you need to join the group, you can do so easily. Approval is very quick.

Even after three shameful away defeats
, not counting our league cup exit at Oxford United after Will Grigg and Marc McNulty flopped in the penalty shootout at Oxford, Sunderland would be most people’s tip to beat Southend this Saturday in some style, writes Monsieur Salut.

Despite recent form, patchy at best, SAFC are just outside the playoff zone at eighth. The Shrimpers (or Seasiders or Blues, according to taste) , with Sol Campbell newly installed as manager, are second bottom and would be bottom if it were not for Bolton’s point deduction. Our goal difference may be a thoroughly unimpressive +5 but their is -27.

There is a but coming.

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Oxford United vs Sunderland: will we make the EFL Cup last eight?

The EFL Round of 16. We’re in it and can make the quarter finals by winning, away yet again, on Tuesday night, says Monsieur Salut.

Salut! Sunderland wants to know how you think we’ll fare at Oxford United, having previously beaten Premier League opponents Burnley and Sheffield United on their grounds. But we still cannot publish comments.

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A look back at what Salut! Sunderland’s Sixer made of Shrewsbury Town and its meadows

Pete Sixsmith

NB: we’re back after our technical problems – but you, the readers, aren’t yet back as fully as we’d like. Unfortunately, you cannot post comments. We are working on this.

In the meantime, you can always have your say on anything that appears here, or for that matter any SAFC topics which do not, at Salut! Sunderland’s Facebook group.  Click on any of the preceding four words. If you are told that you need to join the group, you can do so easily. Approval is very quick.

If you do try to post a comment here, it will be stored in our beneath-the-bonnet files and one of these days, one of us will get round to reproducing them all …

Colin Randall writes: an appalling admission but yes, this is my debut for the season. Just back from France before the drawbridge is raised, I am heading for Shrewsbury hoping to witness an away win to match Phil Parkinson’s stomping first experience of being in charge of a home game. Pete Sixsmith’s superb series on his own first encounters with Sunderland’s opposing teams and their grounds ran its course last season. Here, though, is a reminder of one of its many fine moments – memories of both the old Gay Meadow ground and its successor, New Meadow …  

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Wycombe Wanderers vs Sunderland: a good one to win from ninth place

Jake: ‘must be the kind fo game we have to win’

At first glance, the League one table makes for depressing perusal. Sunderland and down to ninth and are now eight points behind the convincing leaders, Ipswich Town, with no games in hand.

The second glance makes it seem more respectable. We are just one point behind a top six place and have two games in hand over Blackpool in sixth with the same pathetic goal difference of +2.

This Saturday’s opponents, Wycombe Wanderers, are second and only four points ahead of SAFC having played one game more. So leave aside Ipswich’s so far exemplary sprint to the top and we remain competitive.

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Sixer’s Grimsby Town Soapbox: never too early to start up the buses for Wembley

Malcolm Dawson writes….I was busy last night with what laughingly passes for the only work I do since retirement. Laughingly, because for 12 or so weeks of the year I get paid for what I might well be doing for nothing during the other 40. However, because I am getting paid and on a kind of contract, that has to take priority, so not only was I unable to attend last night’s fixture, I found it difficult to even follow the game on the interweb. When first I looked it was 0-0 with 42 minutes on the clock. Next glimpse showed us to be losing 1-0, then it was 2-2 and by the time I knew that we hadn’t needed to look for a bonus point via a penalty shoot out, Sixer’s Sevens was already posted and I expect that Pete himself had got past Houghton Cut.

I should make the next home tie, but Pete Sixsmith was there last night on another day of upheaval at the Stadium and Academy of Light. Let’s find out what he made of yesterday’s events.

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Lincoln City vs Sunderland: more points on the board please, Lads

Jake: nowt for Lincoln City and three or four for SAFC would make for a good-looking scoreline’

A well-known writer
on Sunderland AFC has solemnly declared that this Saturday’s visit to Lincoln City will be the farthest south he will travel this season in the cause of following the team.

It remains to be seen whether that writer, none other than our own Pete Sixsmith, will maintain this boycott of half the country if promotion ends up being potentially sealed at, say, Burton in April. Or indeed if we return to Wembley for some reason.

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Substitute Sixer’s Soapbox: an ultimately shaky win over MK Dons and ‘unhelpful constant criticism’ of Ross

Readers will know we have been experiencing technical problems caused by a malicious redirection of certain of our pages to a scummy Turkish escort site. Salut! Sunderland is now more secure (at a hefty price) but neither that, nor as much self-help and professional cleansing as we have been able to do without further expenditure, has rid us of this Turkish blight.

When a page redirects to Istanbul – as happened with Sixer’s Sevens after the MK Dons match and this full report by our deputy editor Malcolm Dawson – we are excluded from the invaluable headline-grabbing newsnow.co.uk site and the number of readers plummets alarmingly.

Reposting, while irrtating for readers who have already seen the relevant item, has been known to help. So we are today republishing Malcolm’s outstanding analysis in the hope it may avoid the vulture-like attentions of our friends from the east and attract the audience it deserves.

A full professional clean-up to eliminate (maybe!)  the bug would be too expensive so if anyone knows a SAFC-supporting IT wizard who would be happy to do it for a pittance, please say so …

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Sixer’s MK Dons Sevens: a flying start but nervy 2-1 win

Monsieur Salut writes: Pete Sixsmith greatly enjoyed his midweek trip to Bramall Lane, a winning display on the field enhanced by a feelgood, relatively sober atmosphere among our travelling fans.

And so back to the mundane but – surely for us – more important world of League One. Sixer was there with our associate editor John McCormick in the East Stand, deputy editor Malcolm Dawson back in his usual seat so a decent turn-out for the Salut! Sunderland editorial team.

A bright start produced two goals, another cracker for Max Power – ‘even better than on Wednesday at Sheff Utd’, said Sixer – and a second from Luke O’Nien. At half time, Pete deplored ‘another spineless referee’ for failing to reduce ‘Franchise FC’ to 10 men for an assault on O’Nien that screamed red but drew yellow.

Jake: ‘from Spain, it sounded like the classic game of two halves’

In true Sunderland fashion, we failed to build on or convincingly defend even a two-goal lead and, as Ipswich coasted to victory at home to Tranmere, a goal was duly conceded.

Sixer reported us ‘living on our nerves’ while Gary Bennett said we looked too much like an away team clinging on desperately to a slim lead. That said, we did hang on and three valuable points are ours. Pete’s seven-word verdict – take your pick from the two he offered – will be followed by a full appraisal …

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Sunderland vs MK Dons. How many of SAFC’s Bramall Lane stars will feature?

Jake: ‘now for some points on the table … please’

Football talk thrives on whats ifs.

What if Jack Ross, suitably impressed by his much-changed team’s latest winning exploits in the Carabao Cup, decided the same side can surely coast past MK Dons in the more important matter of the League One promotion race?

It was, after all, a fine 1-0 win against Sheffield United, albeit also much changed after their 2-0 Premier League triumph at Everton.

But we know it won’t happen because football doesn’t tend to work that way. A few of Wednesday night’s stars may get into the squad but the chances of Ross announcing an unchanged side are less than zero.

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