Sunderland have had to try and stop Newcastle fans coming to their final home games

Derby County v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

Sunderland football club hasn't been through many worse periods in it's history than in 2017/18.

After relegation from the Premier League last season, pundits and fans thought the Black Cats would bounce back to the top-flight at the first time of asking.

Oh how wrong they were.

With just four games left in the Championship season, Sunderland are six points adrift in the relegation zone, with League One looking more likely with each passing week.

Chris Coleman's decision to ditch the Wales job for Wearside looks rather silly, although, he'll be thankful that the Black Cats at least have a fighting chance after it looked as if they were doomed.

Their next two games against Reading and Burton Albion - two sides around them - are absolutely pivotal.

Away at high-flying Fulham is their penultimate game, with a home fixture against Wolves to finish things off. Tough times.

The Stadium of Light has not been a beacon of positivity this season, with low attendances and a seemingly constant sour atmosphere.

Sunderland v Reading - Sky Bet Championship

And what Sunderland have had to do for their remaining home games just sums up where the club is right now.

Per Daily Mail, the Black Cats have actually had to alter the way they're selling tickets in order to prevent Newcastle fans buying them to celebrate their relegation.

The paper writes: "The Black Cats - six points from safety at the foot of the Championship with four games to play - are aware of the threat of fans from their north-east rivals travelling in large numbers to their remaining home matches.

"That was what happened in 1987 when Sunderland were last demoted to the third tier and around 1,000 Newcastle supporters turned up at Roker Park to see their relegation play-off against Gillingham.

Derby County v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

"But the Wearsiders decided to remove all cash turnstiles for Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Norwich and they are almost certain to do the same for the games against Burton a week on Saturday and the season-finale versus champions-elect Wolves on May 6.

"Anyone wishing to buy tickets must do so from the box office and must also have a purchase history, keeping out those who have turned up for the first time."

It's quite hilarious, but fair play to Sunderland for acting fast.

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