To call this season a rough one for Sunderland would be one of the grossest understatements in the history of football.
Is that a bit much? The fact that it is debatable tells you everything you need to know.
They are rock-bottom of the Premier League and have only won six games this season. They are already relegated and are four points adrift from even 19th-placed Middlesbrough.
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Boss David Moyes' reputation has taken a hammering during the past couple of seasons after being revered as one of the most talented managers in the game during his time with Everton.
But it seems any manager would have had real trouble keeping this group of Black Cats players in the top-flight this term and, in truth, this relegation has been coming for a few years now.
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Newcastle legend Alan Shearer labelled Sunderland’s players “disgraceful, lazy and pathetic” on Match of the Day last week, an assertion that precious few people could counter.
Include David Moyes in that list.
Asked about Shearer's comments, Moyes replied via The Telegraph: “I'd have to say that in many ways he was right. I was incredibly disappointed with the performance.
“I don't think any player goes out to perform like that. But I am privy to the physical stats, and on much of that I couldn't disagree.”
In just their last two games, Sunderland have recorded back-to-back 2-0 losses to fellow strugglers Hull and Swansea, the latter being the most recent and at home.
Moyes opened up on the problems at the Stadium of Light and detailed how hard it has been to do his job.
“Overall, we have been unable to get a good enough spirit to make sure we got results in a lot of games. It’s been a problem.
“It was hard coming in to work yesterday because we were training, it was hard because I was massively disappointed with the performance on Saturday. What we are privy to, and what we are able to see, is the physical output and all those things which we can always judge so we are disappointed.
“The players have to be the ones who see [it isn’t good enough]. The players are the ones who cross the line, they have to show what they can do. Many of them are thinking there is something better."
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