Boyhood Sunderland follower looks ahead to Stoke clash.
Tonight’s game will prove difficult watching for former Potters keeper Steve Simonsen - a boyhood Sunderland fan.
Simonsen, who now plays for Dundee, told safc.com that City’s recent upturn in fortunes has all but secured their Barclays Premier League status while he feels Sunderland need one more win to achieve the same.
“I followed Sunderland for many, many years as a youngster and I still follow their results,” the veteran keeper said.
I spent six years at Stoke which were full of a decent amount of success so my loyalties are quite split for the game
- Steve Simonsen
“I spent six years at Stoke which were full of a decent amount of success so my loyalties are quite split for the game.
“As long as both sides stay up, I’ll be happy – I fancy Sunderland to win a close game, probably 1-0."
He added: “It’ll be an interesting game because Stoke have made the magic 40-point mark so I expect they may not play with the hunger that Sunderland have to,” Simonsen said.
“Stoke’s record on Wearside isn’t great - I remember when I played there with Stoke in the Championship we never won.”
Simonsen did, however, warn the Black Cats that they’ll have to be up for the battle with Stoke who, according to Simonsen, will prove a stern a stern physical test.
“What you see is what you get with Stoke; they are a big strong outfit and they’ll get physical – don’t get me wrong they can play football too. They showed that with their goal against Norwich last weekend.
“Sunderland will need to play to their strengths and get in Stoke’s faces like they did against Newcastle and Everton.
“Sunderland need to be up for the fight because they need the result more than Stoke do and their big players will have to play well.”