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Dan Neil addresses Sunderland’s implosion and has message for fans about club’s new signings



Dan Neil wants Sunderland to return from the international break with all guns blazing, saying there’s no worse feeling than having nothing to play for.

With just one point from their previous seven games, the Black Cats are now nine points clear of the relegation zone and 13 points out of the Championship play-off spots. Considering that Sunderland finished sixth in the previous season and that a Premier League return is now the goal, the way their season has gone awry is even more disheartening.

It’s annoying. Neil said, “I believe I have witnessed implosions in the past while watching. “I believe the past few years have been kind of easy sailing and everything has been wonderful and lovely. In any case, I believe that this year was going to be difficult.

“I believe that everyone was just kind of happy the previous year—we were either ninth or tenth and now we were in the playoffs. I believe that has given people a great deal of ambition, especially the supporters, and I can see why. Even as players, I believe that after finishing sixth a year, you want to go on and place fifth or fourth, or at least be in the running for the top two spots.

We must examine ourselves for the reason it hasn’t gone our way this year. We must accept some responsibility. We will continue to fight because the organization still thinks like that. We shall be aiming to win all eight of these crucial games.

“You don’t want to be playing for nothing going into the final few games of the season because it just breeds a bit of, perhaps a bit of laziness because we can’t move up and we can’t go down,” I mentioned the other day. We must thus start well and put together a run following this international break so that, at the very least, we have a preview of what to expect from each game.

“Having nothing to play for is, in my opinion, the worst sensation there is. I believe that in order to finish the season, we must use this international break as a reset and come out firing.

Even though Neil has always supported Sunderland, several of the team’s recent international additions are still getting adjusted to the demands of playing for the Black Cats. Neil said, “I believe you can try and teach them all you want, but at the end of the day they haven’t even been here a year yet so it’s not going to sink in with them just yet,” in response to a question concerning players like Hemir and Nazariy Rusyn comprehending what it means to play for Sunderland.

“I’m confident it has a lot, particularly given its recent performance. Our supporters are among the best in the nation, if not the entire globe, since they aren’t afraid to speak out for us both in wins and losses. They will need some time to comprehend it, as many of these youngsters are still very young and have made a significant sacrifice by leaving their home country to pursue football careers.



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