Ahead of Saturday's game at the Stadium of Light, we spoke with Black Cats' fan Michael from the Sunderland blog
We Are Wearside. He gives us his views on his club's struggles this season, their survival chances, Sam Allardyce, and more. You can follow the blog on twitter @WeAreWearside.

It's been another disappointing season at the Stadium of Light, where has it all gone wrong?

We started off with yet another manager who gave us a lot of hope last season and then failed to deliver in this one. Our signings were poor, our pre-season preparations inadequate, and there are people at the top of the club (Ellis Short and Margaret Byrne) who don't know the first thing about football. At times it's seemed like our players are just turning up for their pay packet too.

Going back to October, was Sam Allardyce the right man for the job? How did
Sunderland fans react to his appointment?

Fans' reaction at the time was mixed. Some said he was a dinosaur, while others backed him. Some thought Dick Advocaat should have been given more time, or more support by the club's hierarchy. Personally, I thought he was the right man to save us, and I think that if he keeps us up and he's given sufficient resources next season, he can pull us out of this dreadful cycle of relegation scraps every year.

Will Allardyce keep you in the Premier League?

It's a hesitant yes from me. I'd be a lot more confident if Steve McClaren was still in charge up the road, or if we were capable of keeping clean sheets, but I think Allardyce has enough about him to get us limping over the line. He knows the rigours of the Premier League, and I think in a straight fight between us, Newcastle, and Norwich, we have the best chance of coming out with the most points.

If the worst comes to the worst and you do go down, do you expect him to stay and would you want him to stay?

If we do go down, I don't think there's a better manager for that level and the club has to do everything in its power to get him to stay on. Paper talk a few months ago claimed that he'd walk if and when our relegation became inevitable, but he has experience of getting teams out of the Championship and I think Ellis Short would be able to persuade him to stay on if he was having second thoughts.

Highlight of the season?

The 3-0 home win against
Newcastle, without a doubt. This season's had precious few highlights, but that game stands out a mile. My second choice would be the recent 2-1 win over Manchester United, where Allardyce finally had us playing like a team for once.

Low point of the season?

Tactfully restricting myself to on-field events, early defeats to Bournemouth and Norwich where the players just didn't seem interested. The 6-2 loss to Everton was dreadful, and the 6-3 win against Exeter in the League Cup was embarrassing to watch for the first hour.

Black Cats' player of the season?

Jermain Defoe is the obvious choice. He's scored some crucial goals, and if we stay up he'll deserve a lot of the plaudits. Vito Mannone has also impressed - we'd be in a significantly worse position if it wasn't for his performance between the posts - and January signing Lamine Kone deserves a mention. He's not been here long, but he's already winning fans over with his ferocity and sheer force of presence in our defence.

Anyone been particularly disappointing?

How long have you got? Ola Toivonen made a bright start but has been exposed as slow and plodding. Adam Matthews was signed amidst a lot of hype in the summer but has made one sub appearance so far. Sebastian Larsson has seriously struggled for form, and John O'Shea has been consistently slow and prone to making costly mistakes.

How are Sunderland likely to line-up on Saturday?

Mannone; Yedlin, Kone, O'Shea, van Aanholt; M'Vila, Kirchhoff, Rodwell; Borini, Defoe, Khazri. If Kaboul is passed fit, he'll likely play instead of O'Shea, and Allardyce might play Cattermole instead of Rodwell or N'Doye instead of Borini, but that's the team I'd go for.

Thoughts on the game and prediction?

It's a game that we have to win, especially considering Newcastle play Norwich the same day, and I think Allardyce will impress that on the players. I can see  Pulis setting up very defensively, and it's up to us to attack and break down Albion's back line. We've been playing well in the past couple of months, but there always seems to be a mistake or two in the team. I'm going to go for a somewhat optimistic 2-1 home win, low on quality but high in determination.

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