ECHOSPORT talks to Sunderland fan Gav Johnston ahead of tomorrow’s game.

What have you made of the season so far?

“It’s been great in the main. Alright, we haven’t been promoted automatically but just going into every game with a chance of winning has been refreshing.

“We’ve drawn far too many League games and we’ve not defended anywhere near well enough, but generally it’s been fine and getting to a cup final gave our fans a reward for their loyalty over the last god knows how many years when it’s been difficult to stay motivated during some dark times.

“Promotion is still attainable and ultimately going up by hook or by crook was the aim we set out to achieve at the start of the season.

"I’ll save the inquest until the season is actually over but, generally speaking, I’ve enjoyed our year as a League One club and getting to see my team win more often than I’ve been used to.”

How frustrating has it been to miss out on automatic promotion?

“We’ve spent a lot of money and as the biggest club in the League it was always going to be our aim to go up automatically, but perhaps that pressure has been too much for us.

"Fans are fairly split, though the optimists have had their patience tested with a terrible result at Fleetwood on Tuesday.

"Winning on Saturday will have people looking forward to the play-offs though and with that in mind I think this is still a huge game for us.”

So you do feel tomorrow’s game still matters for Sunderland?

“Yes I do. We’re pretty low having not only lost out on automatic promotion but also because we threw away three points at Fleetwood, and I believe Jack Ross will be very conscious of what a big win on Sky TV could mean to the supporters and the morale of the squad going into the play-offs.

“Aiden McGeady and Charlie Wyke were rested completely on Tuesday but we missed them, so I have a feeling they’ll play their part.”

Who is the dangerman?

“If McGeady plays then it’s undoubtedly him. He made the team of the season for a reason - he’s by far the best player in this division and even despite the fact he’s playing with an injury he’s devastating on the ball.

"If McGeady doesn’t play then I’d have to say Chris Maguire, who is making a comeback from injury.”