Sunderland boss Chris Coleman has moved to apologise to fans after the Black Cats' 2-1 defeat to Burton Albion condemned the club to relegation from the Championship. To be fair, maybe blind optimism, five minutes left, I thought we were in the driving seat even though we didn't play well.
Sunderland responded to the confirmation of relegation with a statement, which alluded to the unresolved situation at the top.
Nigel Clough's side have picked up five points from their last four games and they did really well to beat Derby County last time out considering they'd just been thrashed 5-0 at home by Hull City four days prior. "That's painful. Whether we were planning for this division or the one below, a lot of different things need to happen here".
Paddy McNair had given the Black Cats an early lead, only for ex-Sunderland striker, Darren Bent, and then Liam Boyce late on, to secure a win for the visitors. Whatever was needed we haven't had it. 'Yes [they didn't know], word spread when they got back in the dressing room, ' said Coleman.
Etiher way, every game left is must-win for both these clubs, so something's got to give for one or perhaps both teams if this game were to end in a draw.
We didn't play great, it was the first game in the last six weeks where we weren't very good when we were previously very good. "He (Brian Clough) used to talk with such affection about the people, he so enjoyed his time here", said Clough.
Burton are a point closer to safety than Sunderland with three games left, but they might as well be six points from the survival mark as well due to their terrible minus 45 goal difference, which is clearly the worst in the league.
While the off-field running of the club from Ellis Short and Martin Bain has bordered on farcical, so has the work of a back-line that has consistently failed to defend simple deliveries. Hopefully this is rock bottom for them'.
"It's important that we don't build it up, don't ratchet it too much, so it's a point where everyone is nervous to go out there". If we can take it to the last day anything can happen. All we can do is get him to ask the assistant.
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