Martin Smith

Smith Says...

by Martin Smith

Former ace pens latest column.

It’s that time of year again when the games come thick and fast.

As a player I never minded Christmas; I always just wanted to play games and playing in three or four was ideal for me.

It got me out of the house and away from all the washing up on Boxing Day! I’ve always liked the Christmas games.

I think it took its toll although these days clubs have bigger squads. However, with the injuries we’ve got at the minute Christmas is going to be a tough test.

Maybe we might see some names on the team sheet that we wouldn’t expect.

All the games tend to blur into one but I remember the Boxing Days at Roker Park well. Often we’d be off to the next game pretty much straight away afterwards.

Most teams are in the same boat and with us everyone was on their last legs at the end of the Christmas period!

Christmas football is a massive tradition in this country. You can see why winter breaks are a good idea but as a fan it’s great to cram the games in.

Everyone can show their new Christmas jumpers off and with Manchester City and Spurs coming the atmosphere will be fantastic.

But before all that we’ve got a huge game at Southampton and it’s going to be a tough one.

They’ve been firing recently and look like they have goals in their team.

But if we play well we’re capable of causing them problems and we’ve got a great support going down there.

The fact we’ve sold out our allocation is fantastic, especially with it being just before Christmas.

Considering all the money the fans will be shelling out to go down, it’s a really great effort.

I’ve never been to St Mary’s but I remember playing at the Dell.

I remember Tony Coton getting injured on his debut down there and Lionel Perez coming on to play in his first game.

It was a ground with a real Englishness and character about it, but like ourselves Southampton had to move on and into a bigger and better ground.

Hopefully we can get a result down there and go into the festive period on a real high.

On that note I’d like to wish Sunderland fans across the world a very Merry Christmas. Ha’way the Lads and see you at the SoL on Boxing Day!