WE asked Sunderland fans whereabouts they thought their team would finish in the Premier League next season and the replies showed they’re a surprisingly upbeat bunch.
The Echo’s Fans Survey 2013, revealed that only a handful of fans believed that the club would be relegated next season under new head coach Paolo Di Canio.
Admittedly, it was a handful more than thought Sunderland would qualify for Europe and even more that the (six people) who predicted a Champions League finish for the Black Cats.
But the most popular response to the question was to suggest a top 10 finish in the Italian’s first full season in charge of the Wearsiders.
And not far behind that – with the two answers attracting more than 90 per cent of the vote – was the belief that Sunderland would once again finish outside the top 10 and above the relegation zone.
Kevin McGhin, of Dawdon, Seaham, pointed out: “It would be daft to expect anything more than avoiding relegation until we see what kind of squad Paolo can put together.”
Neil Grieves, of Thomas Street, Ryhope, said: “There is too much work and too many players need to change their mentality for us to expect anything more than 14th or 13th at best.”
Mark Hughes of Blaydon in Gateshead, struck a more optimistic note: “Di Canio is getting rid of the passionless players and having a massive shake-up within the club,” he said.
“He’s also bringing in new lads with our Italian scouting chief, which should be interesting.
“I think this is important because we’ve been desperate for a fresh-faced squad for far too long and also a team which can successfully compete in the Premier League.”
Ed Anderson of Abbey Drive, Houghton-le-Spring, predicted: Di Canio will turn it around.”
Tony Charlton of Tollerton, York, said: “If Paolo is afforded a similar budget to his predecessors, then his dedication, drive, commitment, integrity, intelligence and will to win will see SAFC compete in the cups, (we’re possible finalists!), and finish in the top 10 of the Premier League!”
Which is not a bad note on which to end the final finding of Survey 2013.
Thanks again to everyone who has taken part.