Sunderland have reacted to beating the drop following Wednesday’s emphatic victory over Everton at the Stadium of Light which sealed Newcastle United’s fate of dropping to the Championship for the second time in seven years after.
Everton fell behind to a goal from ex-Newcastle defender Patrick van Aanholt and quickly conceded twice more to put the Magpies out of their misery before Sunday’s season-closer against Tottenham hotspurs at St James Park.
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce admitted he had doubts about the club’s chances of survival following a 6-2 loss at Goodison Park in November and then a run of five defeats at the end of 2015.
“It is outstanding from the grim dark days of December, when we lost five games on the trot,” said Allardyce. “It’s been a test not just on the field but off it.
“I’ve always tried to focus on the players and not let the outside influences affect me, particularly through the hard times, and I think in the end we’ve come through it stronger and stronger.”
The former Bolton manager says recruitment will be key if the club are to avoid another relegation battle next season.
Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley in a statement on the club’s official website said: “Tonight we are devastated at our relegation from the Premier League, as I know every single person connected to this football club will be.
“I want to thank all of the fans for the support you have shown for the Club you love throughout the season, in spite of this massive disappointment and underachievement.
“Your support throughout has been magnificent, but I want to pay particular thanks for the incredible backing you have given to Rafa and the team during the latter part of the season. Nothing more could be asked of you and I am truly sorry we have not given you the outcome you deserve.
“I also want to thank every single member of staff here. This Club is their livelihood, but they are fans too. To go through the threat of relegation last season and then to suffer a worse fate this time around has been very hard for them. I know that each and every one of them has done whatever they could to help us out of the situation we now find ourselves in.
“We know that supporters want to know what the future holds and will want to hear more from us as soon as possible. The process of scrutinising what went wrong and planning for what is to come has already begun.
“Right now, of course, Rafa and the team must prepare for the final game of the season but after that, please rest assured we will communicate more fully with supporters.” Charnley stated.
The Magpies narrowly avoided relegation last season but could not avoid the drop this time, despite the appointment of Rafael Benitez following the sacking of Steve McClaren in March.
Benitez’s future is uncertain. The former Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss signed a three-year contract, but this is understood to contain a break clause in the event Newcastle were relegated.
Despite ending their home campaign with a 4-2 victory over Watford, Norwich failed to extend their stay in the top flight to a second season to the disappointment of manager Alex Neil.
“It is a severe disappointment. We had it in our hands five matches ago, but we came up short.”
“We have not given them too much to shout about and that makes it harder for me to accept letting them down,” he added.
Home fans sang in support of Neil in the second half and during a lap of appreciation following the final home game of the season.
“That, for me, was really, really humbling,” said Neil. “For them to respond in that way, I didn’t expect. I think it’s really unusual. I can only thank them for that.” ,” said Norwich manager Alex Neil. ”
Neil who was appointed in January 2015, paid tribute to the club’s fans and took responsibility for the club’s predicament, insisting he would sit down with owners Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones to discuss what happens now.