Writer: Danny Cosker
Date:Thursday August 25 2011
Swansea City welcome Sunderland AFC this Saturday to the Liberty Stadium in the Barclays Premier League.
Ahead of our match preview, we have taken the opportunity to talk with Paul Wright - a Sunderland fan, to get his thoughts on Saturday's fixture.
Name - Paul Wright
Age - 18
Location - Sunderland
Occupation - Student
How long have you been a Sunderland AFC fan? And, what is your earliest memory of the club?
'The one that stands out the most is being devastated when Micky Gray missed his penalty against Charlton in the 97/98 season play off final against Charlton. Not a great early memory.'
Sunderland's record for the biggest league win is a 9-1 mauling of Newcastle United in 1908, if you had the chance to witness that record broken against Newcastle this year or, finish in a European spot - which would you choose?
'I`d love a 9-1 win over them, infact I`d love to see any win over them, but I`d rather see the club progress. I know there are a lot of fans that would disagree, but I`d rather see us lose to them and get into Europe than hammer them and finish mid-table.'
How do you feel about Steve Bruce buying up Sir Alex Ferguson's cast-offs? And, would you swap Mignolet for De Gea?
'They're certainly cast-offs worth signing and I'm happy with the signings. Both O'Shea and Brown bring some real quality and also fantastic experience between them, unrivalled by anybody else in our team.
Yes, Mignolet isn`t even the best keeper in our squad, however, Craig Gordon`s fitness is a concern. There are quite a few of our fans that seem to judge Gordon by his price tag rather than his performances, he`s a fantastic keeper. Mignolet will no doubt be a good keeper, but I think De Gea is going to be an excellent keeper.'
How excited are you with the acquisition of Connor Wickham? And, do you feel it's money well spent? He is the most expensive football league player moving to a Premier League team.
'It's good to see that Bruce has looked to bring in a young player with a lot of potential, although I'm really concerned by the fact we don't really have a striker that looks capable of scoring enough goals this season.'
Did you know that Swansea City FC is partly owned by their fans? The Swansea City Supporters Society Ltd holds a 20% stake in the club, is this something that you would like to happen at Sunderland AFC?
'A lot of our fans had shares in the club, but in 2006 the Drumaville Consortium got 90% of the club`s shares, this meant the remaining fans that originally decided not to sell to the Drumaville, were forced to. Some supporters didn`t want to part with their shares, but I think most people were happy to see the Drumaville assume full control of the club.'
Do you think that Swansea City FC can avoid relegation this season with their style of play?
'Hopefully. I was happy to see Swansea get promoted and it's always a breath of fresh air to see a new team in the Premier League.'
What do you think the result will be when Sunderland play Swansea in the upcoming game?
'I'll go with 2-0 or 2-1 Sunderland. I think we'll come back from the derby defeat in similar fashion to last season. After we got hammered 5-1 last season by Newcastle, we bounced back with some good results, beating Stoke at home, drawing with Tottenham away, beating Chelsea away and drawing with Everton at home.'
Do you think the Sunderland squad as it stands have a chance to meet the fans objectives for the season? If not, which area of the squad needs addressing?
'It's going to be difficult without a goalscorer or a real left winger, but I believe we will get top 10 again, although I hope it doesn't come down to being very fortunate on the last day of the season.'
Who is your favourite all-time Sunderland player and why?
'Niall Quinn or Kevin Phillips. Super Kev was a fantastic player, but Quinn was not only a good player, but he`s came back and done wonders for the club. If it wasn`t for Quinn, we wouldn`t be where we at the present time.'
Which Sunderland player should Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers be keeping a close eye on in the up and coming game?
'Stephane Sessegnon, he`s great with the ball at his feet and is probably the only player in our team that can beat a man. His movement from the moment he gets the ball is a step above any player in our team, he always looks for his first touch to get him an extra bit of space and it will probably be difficult to contain him.'
I'd like to thank Paul Wright for his time in taking this interview and I hope Sunderland AFC have a successful season in the Premier League.
Date:Thursday August 25 2011
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