AHEAD of Swindon Town’s trip to the Stadium of Light this evening, Adver Sport spoke to the Roker Report’s Matthew Crichton to find out more on the Mackems.

AS: What is early life like under new owner, Kyril Louis Dreyfus?

MC: I think given the fact our previous ownership change with Stewart Donald began well but ended in disaster, Sunderland fans naturally have their guard up.

Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ first interview last week was highly positive, he has already recruited a new sporting director in Kristjaan Speakman, which has led to new academy appointments and the hiring of Lee Johnson.

He discussed how Sunderland have suffered from asset stripping and a lack of long-term planning, something which was a huge hit on Wearside as supporters had grown tired of seeing the club spiral both on and off the pitch.

The 23-year-old has also improved the matchday streaming experience and is reportedly investing £500K to enhance the playing surface at the Stadium of Light, two things that were not essential, but are fantastic steps.

He seems to be a young wealthy football fanatic who wants to make a real difference at Sunderland, almost a real-life version of football manager in rebuilding a club.

AS: How is the team dealing with the pressure of being close to going up?

MC: I think the main problem for Sunderland is that our poor run at the end of Phil Parkinson’s tenure has left Lee Johnson under pressure to win every single match if we are to be promoted.

Sunderland rarely lose, but we draw far too many matches, especially against the weaker teams – we have failed to beat Wigan, Northampton, Bristol Rovers and Rochdale this year.

My gut says we will have to settle for the playoffs this season.

AS: How has Lee Johnson transformed/changed the actual football on the pitch?

MC: The main ways are in tactical flexibility and the team’s mentality.

Under Parkinson we never ever changed formation or our approach, we played the same way for 90 minutes, but now under Johnson we often change formations or make early substitutions if things are not working.

We used to be defensively solid but poor going forward, but now Johnson has the team scoring goals more freely and we are set up to attack teams. The decision to bring back Aiden McGeady from the cold has been integral to this, he is already League One’s joint top assister.

AS: Charlie Wyke is in the form of his life – did anyone at Sunderland see this season coming?

MC: Absolutely not.

If you check Wyke’s statistics, his first two seasons were incredibly poor at Sunderland and up until his run under Johnson supporters were crying out for the club to sign a forward.

His success is showing just how pivotal confidence is in football, Johnson has improved the quality of chances we create, but Wyke was never trusted to finish chances, now we just expect the ball to hit the back of the net.

AS: What will Sunderland’s gameplan look like?

MC: This is actually a difficult question, as I mentioned above we change formations often, but I would guess it will be either 3-4-2-1 or 4-2-3-1.

Bailey Wright, Jordan Willis, Tom Flanagan and Arby Xhemajli are all out injured at centre-back, Grant Leadbitter and Denver Hume are two other high-profile absences.

Sunderland will look to get the ball to Aiden McGeady as much as possible, but we possess incredible depth out wide so your full-backs will be in for a challenge.

GK: Burge, McLaughlin, Sanderson, O’Nien, Vokins, Power, Scowen, McGeady, Maguire, O’Brien, Wyke would be my guess at our team.

As for score line, I will go for a 3-1 Sunderland win.