Date:Friday September 29 2006
This week we talk to Vital Sunderland Editor Alexis James ahead of the Owls clash with the Mackems at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
1. First thing's first - Roy Keane, you must be a happy Mackem?
Delighted. A bit wary at first as on the face of it we have a chairman and a manager who've never done their respective jobs before, but the more we hear from both the more confident i get. There's miles to go yet but the signs are promising.
2. Did you ever think you could attract such a big name to the club?
Yes, always. But not under the previous regime. We knew it would take a man who matches the fans' ambtions and knowledge of the club and who was brave enough to take a chance and dare to dream like one of us. That man is Niall Quinn. And he has delivered the big name he promised.
3. I take it Niall Quinn is a bit of a hero up there, too?
Judging by my previous answer, yes! He is already a playing legend and a genuine, top guy, but if all goes well in his new role he could become the most God-like figure ever to walk in Wearside. It wouldn't surprise me if he walked on the Wear.
4. Where do you expect to finish now this season?
Play-offs at least. But this league just needs someone to take hold of it and Sunderland could be that team. All it needs is a good solid run to start the ball rolling. At the minute we've been a bit stop start, which is to be expected from such a new side.
5. What were your thoughts at the start of the season when you were down at the bottom?
I always knew we would get out of it, mainly because no matter how bad we were, there's always going to be 4 worse teams in this league. it's not the greatest.
6. Last season must have been bad I guess?
Yes. moving on...
7. For Owls fans who've never been to the SOL - what's it like?
A great stadium which used to get filled every week and have an amazing atmosphere. At the moment the atmosphere is a bit dull, though with Keane's arrival it has understandably got better. Try the chicken balti pies though.
8. Who are your danger men?
Tobias Hysen looks a great buy if he starts, with a terrific left foot. At the moment we have a striker injury crisis but if fit David Connolly, Daryl Murphy and Stephen Elliot will all score goals in this division, and Dwight Yorke is yet to fire on all cylinders for us.
9. If you could take one Wednesday player to Sunderland who would it be and why?
Would it be harsh to say I don't really know much of your players. Apart from Deon Burton and Marcus Tudgay I don't really recognise many of your players' names, so maybe it's best to ask me after I've seen you guys!
10. If you could send one Sunderland player to Wednesday who would it be and why?
Tommy Miller. Mainly because he must've been a good player in this division to score so many goals at Ipswich, but isn't getting a look in here and a start at a new club would maybe restart his career. So i'm not doing you guys a total dis-service!
11. How is ex-Owls loanee Darryl Murphy doing?
He had a fantastic pre-season, scoring in most games, and looked good at the start of the season before getting a hamstring injury. He is expected to be back for Saturday though, so you can see for yourself!
12. What do you think the score will be?
I'm going for 3-1 Sunderland, with a changed team eager to make up for the appaling performance at Ipswich.
NEXT UP - Barnsley!
Date:Friday September 29 2006
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