Monsieur Salut writes: Dave Child*, an expert on football stadium pies as well as doing his bit for local radio, is a fine ambassador for his club, Burton Albion, the town itself and its celebrated beer. Last season, he rose twice to the ‘Who are You?’ occasion, attending both games (we won there; they sent us down by taking revenge at the Stadium of Light) but also giving seriously good pre-match interviews to Salut! Sunderland. So it felt no hardship to return to Dave after he was proved right in his prediction that we’d go down together …
Salut! Sunderland: you correctly forecast we’d go down together. How disappointed are you at your iffy first few games back in League One and how surprised, if at all, have you been at our decent start?
Dave Child: yes a bit surprised with our start but we left it late signing players, so we now have a little bit of catching up to, especially after the Ronaldo deal fell through. Not at all surprised by your start, infact very pleased for your long suffering fans, you really have to get it right this season, or there is no hope!
Do you back chairman Ben Robinson and manager Nigel Clough to haul you up the league and if so, how will that be achieved?
The chairman and the manager have both come under a bit of pressure from a few fans (I think it was three of them) but we are a well run club and have none of the problems that other clubs that overspend have, and that’s certainly not a dig at Sunderland. Our track record of success suggests we will succeed again.
Tell us about your winning day out at the Stadium of Light last season
It was just one of those days when the unexpected was not expected, but it felt lovely and I’m sorry Sunderland fans IT WAS HAND BALL…….another popular refereeing decision. Ha Ha Ha
And hand on heart, where you think our teams will finish this season
…..Well it won’t be a repeat of last season, I think we will both survive, but seriously you guys have to be in the playoffs as a minimum.
Who are the players you rely on to get you out of the bottom bit of the table and where is strengthening urgently needed?
Liam Boyce is key for the Brewers, he scores we get points, simple as that, think we will have to rely on our younger players this season, we look to strengthen in any areas we can, I think Steven Quinn will be a big player for the Brewers this year.
Remind us of your highs and lows as a supporter
Lots and lots of highs, two promotions in recent years, our promotion from non league to football league, and I suppose you could say the low was getting relegated last season, but even that was a brilliant day out at Preston… so none really.
And the best players you’ve seen in Burton colours?
The best two players: Guy Branston & Ryan Austin
Who would you prefer to forget altogether?
Andy Garner was terrible
Describe the community’s support for the local side. Is there a glory seeking problem with big(ger) clubs reasonably close?
Derby County have always thought they were the bee’s knees, and now cockney Frank is in charge it won’t get any better, but they’re good at disappointment, and its gonna happen again.
Your own thought on Sunderland’s sharp decline?
I think your decline has been halted now, it needed sorting from the top, and now the club has sorted itself out nicely. Stability is vital.
Any other views on Sunderland, perhaps based on your experience of playing us and visiting our ground last season?
You have just signed the best goalkeeper outside of the Premier League, in Jon McLaughlin, but you also got the booby prize in Tom Flanagan…… good luck with that one.
For you, is the World Cup: a distant, fading memory or something special to savour until 2022?
Very proud of my country. I think the young England players played very well, definitely something to savour
The Neymar Question: will VAR eliminate cheating or is it with us to stay?
VAR will never eliminate cheating, it’s players that need to eliminate cheating
Will you be at our game? What will be the score?
The score will be 2-1 to Burton. We started to pick up points at home so this will not be a good time for Sunderland to play Burton, don’t expect too much (M Salut assumes the answer to the first of those questions is Yes)
* Dave Child on himself: Brewers fan all my life. This is my 50th year as a supporter, I love my team, and can be heard on all things Brewers on the Touch FM Breakfast show. First watched as an 11-year-old and free prescriptions next birthday so a long time. Many years as a local radio commentator and a featured on a host of Brewers films and videos, frequent host of Q & A nights, and currently on the Touch FM Breakfast show Mondays and Friday as ‘Pieman’, reviewing the pies at away grounds and adding banter about the brewers.
Interview: Colin Randall