Does it make me a traitor if I want Sunderland to win today?

Yes, I want the mackems to beat Bradford away in the FA Cup today and march into the last eight.

Of course I don’t want them to win the bloody thing, a bit like last season when they  reached the final of the League Cup. That was ideal, I couldn’t bear the thought of them winning anything but I did want them to get as far as possible without actually achieving anything.

Newcastle have had it far too easy in the north east when it comes to the mackems, both under Mike Ashley and before him, Newcastle’s nearest and dearest rivals have been generally useless.

Whereas the likes of Everton and Spurs have been some kind of occasional challenger to their more successful neighbour in the modern era, we have had Sunderland.

(To feature like Dale, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])

So despite Newcastle being pretty rubbish since the Sir Bobby Robson days, the chances of any local embarrassment being heaped on Newcastle has been slim to non-existent. One-off matches/capitulations excepted.

As well as local pressure shining the spotlight on Ashley’s ambition-less running of Newcastle, the second part of wanting the mackems to win today is to show that trying to win FA Cup matches isn’t something to avoid at all costs.

Sunderland will have thousands of fans heading off for the short trip to Bradford, just as Newcastle had almost four and a half thousand at Leicester to watch what turned out to be our reserve team.

A win in the Cup will almost undoubtedly help their fight against relegation but just as importantly it would give their fans a lift, a great day out and hope!

Imagine Mike Ashley and Newcastle United putting that as a priority for the Newcastle fans…

Sunderland are a joke club for all kinds of reasons that are very different from the cynical manipulation we face at Newcastle United under Ashley.

Survival in the middle reaches of the Premier League might usually be enough to better Sunderland but outside of the north east you need to realise that our local supremacy causes barely a ripple.

Travel Posters - Tyneside Prints