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INSIDE INFO: What are Sunderland fans thinking ahead of Saturday's Premier League showdown against Southampton?

We spoke to Gavin Henderson of SB Nation's Sunderland blog Roker Report to get a heads up on what we should expect on Saturday.

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This week we spoke to Gavin Henderson of Roker Report - SB Nation's Sunderland blog - to get the lowdown on Southampton's opponents on Saturday.

Please read, like, share and, most importantly, enjoy this week's edition of INSIDE INFO - the original (we're looking at you, Saints column which gets the opposition's views ahead of their match against our beloved Southampton.


St. Mary's Musings: What were your expectations for the season before it started and how do the opening games compare?

Gavin Henderson: Well, in May I expected that Sunderland were going to kick on under Sam Allardyce following a very successful end to the season, but England's incompetence at the European Championships has caused this domino effect which has seen Sunderland left in a complete mess two weeks into the season.

Right at this moment I'd be over the moon if we finished 17th again, sadly. We have eight injuries to senior players and a paper thin squad. It's not great.

SMM: How popular was Sam Allardyce on Wearside?

GH: Hugely. At first he had his sceptics but he transformed us completely and it feels like a real kick in the teeth that he's no longer here, because had he stayed in the job we'd have been going places under him. He'll do great for England.

SMM: What do you and other Sunderland fans make of David Moyes so far?

GH: Many of us are just happy to see what he can do beyond this next week when the transfer window closes. He's very honest and some people don't like that - me personally, I love it. Here's hoping he can get the players in that he wants to take us beyond being perennial strugglers.

SMM: What did you make of Moyes declaring a relegation battle this early into a season?

GH: As I said before, I admire his honesty. I'd rather he was up front and brutal instead of lying to the fans about us spending fortunes when it is never going to happen.

SMM: Where does the Sunderland team need strengthening to avoid such a battle?

GH: Everywhere. We have so many injuries that we are short in pretty much every position except in attacking midfield. We really need a pair of central midfielders, a centre back and a striker. If Moyes gets those before deadline day then I'll be reasonably happy.

SMM: Who should us Saints fans watch out for on Saturday?

GH: I'm not sure if he'll start the game, but keep an eye out for Joel Asoro if/when he comes on. He's only seventeen but he's really making an impression at Sunderland and he was arguably our man of the match against Shrewsbury in midweek.

He's due a goal and always looks like scoring, so I expect Moyes will give him twenty minutes or so at the end of the game if we are in need of something else up top.

SMM: If you could sell any Sunderland player from your regular starting XI, who would it be and why?

GH: I'd probably say Lamine Kone. He's our best defender but he doesn't want to be here and there are teams that are prepared to pay big for him - sadly, though, it's too late in the window for us to find an able replacement so I feel he'll have to stick around for another year at least.

SMM: If you could sign any Saints player, who would it be and why?

GH: I'm going to say Jose Fonte. He's a leader and a solid defender, both things Sunderland are sorely lacking right now.

SMM: Finally, what are your predictions for Saturday?

GH: It's a tough one. I'll say 1-1 draw. Southampton are usually quite good at home but we were unlucky not to win there last season and I think we'll carry some confidence over having won in the cup in mid week.

We would like to thank Gavin and Roker Report for their candid answers. Remember to check St. Mary's Musings again for next week's edition of Inside Info.