There IS a prize and you know what it is

Even as I wrote last week that we would remain masters of our destiny and go up automatically provided we matched our rivals’ results, I was riddled with doubt, says Monsieur Salut.

A quick look at the fixtures at the top end of League One table showed there was no room for the least slip. Even when I saw that Coventry were ahead at Portsmouth, it seemed too much to hope that this would remain the case (if the spirit of Jimmy Hill has any influence, his old club’s two games involving us and Pompey could not have gone better).

As for Barnsley and Luton, did anyone seriously expect other than comfortable wins at Plymouth and Accrington Stanley.

Pete Sixsmith in exalted company. Tune in to BBC Newcastle to hear him with Simon Pryde, John Anderson and Marco Gabbiadini. Total Sport 5.30-7.00.

The Sunderland Echo‘s excellent Phil Smith is a glass half full man …

… but I cannot say I share his optimistic outlook.

Barnsley have indeed stumbled but rarely for long enough for it to stop them looking marginally a better bet for automatic promotion than us. We have seemed to labour throughout the season, throwing away leads or going behind too often for comfort. Phil’s predecessor at the Echo, Graeme Anderson, identifies the same issue:

So to Pompey at home. There’ll be the usual prize mug for anyone who is first to predict the result. You must have a UK delivery address unless you can persuade me you are such a great person that I should dig deeper and pay for overseas postage.

Earlier in the season, my Pompey-supporting pal in Paris, Peter Allen, was talking of this game being the championship decider. It was a great interview and can be seen at this link. I am hoping Peter will be back with fresh thoughts ahead of SAFC-Pompey.

But I hope he is an unhappy man at tea-time on Saturday. And that Barnsley fans are scratching their heads at points lost to Blackpool. Nurse, nurse, nurse …. where are my pills?

Ha’way the Lads …

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

18 Responses to “Sunderland vs Portsmouth: a question of points no longer in our hands” Subscribe

  1. John Mac April 24, 2019 at 6:59 am #

    Wyke, Catts, Grigg. In that order. 2-1 at half time.

  2. Wrinkly Pete April 24, 2019 at 8:13 am #

    It will be tense. Our fans will be superb all around the stadium. It will – finally – be 4-3 to The Lads and I will be there, singing ? my ? out for them. Yippee? ?

  3. Wrinkly Pete April 24, 2019 at 8:17 am #

    Hmmmmph. My emojees failed to appear, the most important being my heart.

  4. Adam Batstone April 24, 2019 at 8:36 am #

    We (Pompey) won comfortably at Fratton Park back in December and then struggled at Wembley so I think you will win on Saturday. Pompey are not playing well at the moment. Lucky to get wins at Wycombe, Burton and Coventry. However a win for you will suit Barnsley who will claim the second automatic spot. Don’t discount the possibility we have to do it all over again at Wembley in the Play Off final. Play Up Pompey!

    • Terry April 24, 2019 at 9:01 am #

      You comfortably beat a 10 man Sunderland back in December so i”ll go for a 2-1 home win.

  5. malcolm April 24, 2019 at 9:03 am #

    Stick a score in Adam – you might win a mug which will reflect your allegiance.

  6. malcolm April 24, 2019 at 9:13 am #

    We have only lost three games all season yet sit in 4th place.

    If we had won half of our drawn games and lost the other half we would have had 93 points with 12 defeats.

    On the one hand we seem to play better against the higher placed teams but we also seem unable to find the win when expectations are at their highest.

    I’m at Fleetwood on Tuesday and will still be hoping that we can be in the automatic promotion spot come May 4th but I’m not confident about Saturday. I hate to say it but 2-2 is my prediction.

    PS if anyone can interpret dreams any idea what this product of my REM means? I dreamt that Max Power was having to change his shirt on Saturday, but instead of putting on another with 27 on the back his new one was number 14 with the name Coates above it.

    • William C April 24, 2019 at 10:14 am #

      Malcolm – A latter day Ralph Coates would be okay.

      • malcolm April 24, 2019 at 10:44 am #

        Cheers. With both of us being from Hetton it was obviously Ralph Coates in my subconscious – I just hadn’t spotted it and it was the latter day Sebastian who sprang to mind. What is worrying though is not only was I dreaming about Saturdays game, I was having to tell Sixer who Max Power was. Must be time for my medication. ?

  7. Bill April 24, 2019 at 10:34 am #

    3-2 to the lads

  8. Eric012 April 24, 2019 at 12:43 pm #

    3 – 0.

  9. Phil D April 24, 2019 at 2:17 pm #

    1-0 to the lads.

    Will it be enough? I’m not optimistic.

  10. Paul April 24, 2019 at 9:19 pm #

    4-1 to Sunderland. Remember a similar result when Butcher
    was manager, Jim Smith was his opposite number. Pompey were pushing for promotion, Sunderland fighting to avoid relegation to the old Third Division.

  11. Stevie "O" April 25, 2019 at 6:11 am #

    Hi Monsieur,

    I do declare I am still one of those that believes and hopes we can still gain automatic promotion.For too long I have taken stick from my fellow South African followers of british football ( for not supporting either Liverpool or United or Arsenal). Those are the uninformed masses that do not realise what Sunderland afc is all about!.I for one firmly believe it’s a 3–1 to the lads on Sat. onward and upward. Ha’way the lads!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Edward April 25, 2019 at 6:25 am #

    1-1 honours even and we’ll settle it at Wembley. :-O

  13. Mike April 25, 2019 at 9:38 pm #

    The Lads to win 2-0, still hopeful, a bit to go yet.

  14. Jake April 26, 2019 at 5:25 am #

    Interesting article, but no mention of Roker Park. The bounders!

  15. malcolm April 27, 2019 at 10:28 am #

    Just getting ready to go to game but interesting developments with Bolton’s game being postponed because of a failure to pay their players for March.

    They will no doubt be some sort of points deduction penalty imposed but as they are already relegated it’s not going to affect us so nothing’s changed regarding today’s game.

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