The big news is all about Sunday’s derby. The headline writers are going to be in overdrive with build-up, analysis and reaction over the next few days.
Defoe Talks Sense About Derby
Jermain Defoe has been quoted in the Sunderland Echo as saying what a lot of fans are thinking:
“If we can’t win the game, we have to get a point. We cannot lose.”
Seven in a row would be a historic achievement. Three points is vital in the fight against relegation, but one still keeps our heads above water. Defeat would be a body blow. Defoe also said that:
“I think they’re the ones under pressure, to be honest. They’re at home and yes, the stadium is going to be electric. Their players will want to prove they deserve to be in the team under a new manager and they’ll be up for it.”
Six in a row looms large over them, but the spectre of relegation towers over both clubs. A frustrated Mags crowd can and does turn on their own team. Both teams are likely to play with some fear, but perhaps them a touch more than us.
Colo the Clown to Return?
Sideshow Bob-lookalike Fabricio Coloccini could return for the derby, says Rafa Benitez, who was quoted in the Shields Gazette as saying:
“It is difficult to say when a player has been injured for a few weeks, after it is not easy. We will have to train and then we will have a clearer idea.”
Seems to me as though Rafa was ducking a question about the Argentinian’s fitness. Then again, considering how Coloccini plays when fit, who can blame him?
Everton Game Rearranged
Our home game with Everton, postponed due to Everton’s FA Cup obligations, will now take place on Wednesday 11 May, with kick-off at 7:45pm.
This becomes our final home game of the season, and one which we could need to win to avoid relegation. Everton’s league campaign has been unspectacular, so hopefully they’re on the beach, or distracted by an upcoming FA Cup final, by then.
It gives SAFC a busy final week of the season. We’re home to Chelsea the previous Saturday, and away to Watford on the final day. Given that our club’s future could be determined that week, you have to question the wisdom of all those lengthy international friendly breaks.