Well, let’s got the positive in there straight away – after six painful Derby defeats in a row we’ve finally stopped the rot with a pinpoint Aleksandar Mitrovic header which saw both clubs take a point away from St James’s Park.
Neither team will be happy. A win for either club would have been a huge stride towards Premier League survival but with fellow strugglers Norwich City sealing a victory at The Hawthorns, both North East sides now find themselves in the relegation zone.
Now with just eight games left I think it’s almost certain that one of us are destined for the drop – but could we both really be heading towards the Championship?
The North East was once referred to as a “hotbed” for football but long gone are the days of Kevin Phillips winning the Golden Boot and Alan Shearer celebrating with his arm raised proudly in the air.
Let’s be honest, Sunderland have never been a powerhouse of the Premier league, struggling most seasons to compete and ending the campaign in a relegation dogfight repeating “the great escape” year after year - albeit with a little help from our lot.
The possible relegation of Newcastle United could in fact be their downfall. Picking up a total of 19 points out of a possible 21 from United over the past four seasons is a remarkable achievement for Sunderland, but without those derby points they would have most certainly have been relegated on so many occasions.
Without a Tyne-Wear derby, and the points they are almost guaranteed, Sunderland will be relegated.
This time around, Newcastle have tried to start their very own rescue mission with the appointment of Champions League-winning Rafa Benitez – but have Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley admitted failure a little too late by sacking Steve McClaren with just 10 games remaining?
Benitez was an outstanding appointment (one which we never thought would happen) and the club did unbelievably well bringing him to Newcastle but the job that’s been left in his hands is a one of epic proportions.
I’d love to see Rafa in charge of my club for the next decade but for that to happen, Newcastle must remain in the top flight.
A win against 17th-placed Norwich City is now crucial – we quite simply can’t settle for anything less than three points.
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