Why Josh Maja should start against Wolves and Sunderland prodigy Bali Mumba be given a run out

Sunderland youngster Josh Maja.
Sunderland youngster Josh Maja.
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To the great delight of what must be every Sunderland supporter, this season finally ends when champions Wolves and their fans visit Wearside on Sunday.

Could the fixture list have been any more cruel?

Pitching the best team in the division against the worst on the last day and so ensuring one set of fans will celebrate wildly, while the others just want the agony over.

I have no problem if the Wolves fans want to come to Sunderland and party, they deserve it, we’d do exactly the same given the chance and it is not their fault our club is in disarray, although hopefully the new owners will turn things around.

Wolves are actually a club we should be looking to emulate as it is not that long ago they were in exactly the same position as Sunderland, suffering consecutive relegations and look at them now, storming this season’s Championship and looking forward to the Holy Grail of Premier League football.

Wolves have proved it can be done – so please whoever is in charge at Sunderland – just find out how they did it and follow suit. If Wolves can do it so well and in style, then so can Sunderland.

Every good professional should always want to win every game, but because Sunderland are already down, then Sunday’s result obviously has less significance so I will be more interested in the players’ body language, who actually wants to be at the Stadium of Light, and any signs that might be encouraging for next season.

For that reason, I give preference to starting with our own homegrown players to anyone on loan who will be going back to their parent club.

Players like Josh Maja might as well be given starting experience as he is more likely to feature for Sunderland next term than Ashley Fletcher who probably won’t.

I think the fans would also like to see 16-year-old Bali Mumba, who is getting rave reports.

He is probably not ready to start, but why not 20 minutes late on, just to give the fans some hope and optimism that the future is not as bleak as the last two seasons have been.