This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Grant Leadbitter has sent a message to Sunderland fans urging them to “stick together” with the club, players and manager.
The veteran midfielder has played five times and grabbed one assist so far this season, and has now pleaded with the fans to stay with their side after a “decent” start to the campaign.
He told The Sunderland Echo: “Let’s be honest, I think it’s been a decent start to the season.
“We’re only six games in and we’ve got 11 points. It’s been okay, but we want to do better.”
After saying the team will use the international break to work hard and fix their mistakes, he continued: “We’ve lost one game. We keep moving forward and sticking together is the main thing.
“That’s the club itself, the fans, the players – we all stick together through wins and defeats. We kind of have to get that middle ground now. Things have calmed down at the football club now so we can get that middle ground.”
We’ve seen it all before. Big clubs fall well short of expectations and drop down a division or two, the fans fall out of love with their club and the divides start to grow.
For Sunderland though, the plummet down to League One had a kind of reinvigorating effect on the fan base, and look no further than the hordes that travelled down to Wembley twice last season for evidence of that.
Of course, fans are now excited about the rumours of a potential takeover, and we suspect they will have absolutely no qualms about fulfilling Leadbitter’s wishes.
The Black Cats faithful have been through quite a lot over the last few years, and if they could get through that, they can likely get through a 3-0 defeat to Peterborough without blinking an eye.