‘We should win’ – Sunderland fans have their say ahead of Papa John’s Trophy final at Wembley
Sunderland fans in the city centre have been looking ahead to Sunday’s big game against Tranmere Rovers at Wembley.
On Sunday, March 14, Sunderland AFC will walk out onto the hallowed turf at Wembley for the third time in two years to face League Two Tranmere Rovers in the final of the Papa John’s Trophy.
It will be the second time that the Black Cats will feature in the final of the tournament – losing out on penalties to Portsmouth in the 2018/19 season.
Despite the result, that weekend in March 2019 will live long in the memories of Sunderland fans as they turned the capital red and white, taking over Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic means there will be no repeat of such scenes this weekend – but fans are still looking forward to tuning into the match safely at home and cheering on the lads.
‘We should win’
Melvin Mcleod, 55, from Hendon told the Echo: “I’ve been seven times and not seen us win at Wembley but I’ll be watching. It won’t be the same as being there.
"We should win, Tranmere are a decent side and beat League One opposition to get to the final but we should have enough.”
Bryan Pearson, 56 and Denise Cormack, 62 from Southwick were out shopping in the city centre ahead of the Sunday’s match, with Bryan remembering what it was like two years ago.
The machine operator said: “Gutted that we can’t be there as I was down for the play-off final with the grandson, it’ll not be the same without fans.
"I’ve watched Tranmere play a few games recently and they are a good side but hopefully we’ll have enough experience to see us through.
Supporting from home
Kathleen Rump, 57, from Pennywell, was in the city centre with her sister, Marie Hall. She also reminisced on Wembley trips gone by.
“We were there seven years ago for the final against Man City so I wish them luck this time round,” Kathleen said on Saturday.
"Hopefully they will win and give everyone a bit of a boost.”
Marie added: “I really hope they win, I’ve never been to Wembley but I’ll be cheering them on from home.”
Eleven-year-old Aaron gave his predictions and said: “I think we will win 2-1 with Charlie Wyke and Aiden McGeady scorin – it would be good to see McGeady score another free kick like last time.
"It is sad that we can’t go to the match, last time it was great.”
Warehouse worker David added: “Gutted not to be there but I don’t think the lack of fans will have too much of an impact as the players should be up for the game.
"Hopefully we can get rid of the Wembley hoodoo after losing seven times in a row there.
"I think it will be a bit of a scrappy game to start with but an early goal would be good to settle us down.”