Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn and star striker Darren Bent have apologised to the club's fans over their derby day humiliation.
Following in the footsteps of manager Steve Bruce, who held up his hands in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's 5-1 Barclays Premier League humiliation at Newcastle, Quinn - who sat stony-faced alongside owner Ellis Short at St James' Park as the debacle unfolded - was in sombre mood as he reflected upon the club's heaviest derby defeat in 55 years.
He told the club's official website: "It is entirely appropriate that we apologise to our fans. Whilst acknowledging the hurt that this defeat has caused, I would like to emphasise that everyone at this club will face the music together."
He added: "On Sunday night, the owner and myself sat and reflected on the day's events and we are as defiant as ever that this club is going to make progress.
"While everybody here is suffering, the players' hurt must be galvanised into a big performance on Saturday.
"I'm not asking anyone to have sympathy for us, but we are confident that the solution will be found within the walls of our dressing room.
"We may have to spend a long time apologising, but this entire football club knows that it owes its people right now and for me, that is the priority. "
Quinn's sentiments were echoed by Bent, whose last-minute strike proved no consolation whatsoever.
He said: "We are all sorry about Sunday's result, which was a bad one for everyone concerned. It's important someone came out and apologised to the fans, who are the people who pay money to watch the games.
"We let a lot of people down. We know the fans are hurting and believe me, the manager and the players are hurting as badly as you are."
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