Sunderland are on the ropes after suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Aston Villa over the weekend, which leaves Gus Poyet under immense pressure.
“I think they might go (down), I really think they could go – if they stay up then it would be fair enough (to keep Poyet),” said Murphy.
Despite the defeat, Sunderland are still outside the bottom three with 26 points as things stand.
However, such was the manner of the performance, which prompted thousands of fans to leave at half-time, it’s going to be a real challenge for Poyet to turn things around.
Sunderland had no answer for the pace, passion and determination which came at them from Villa at the start of the game and looked some way off producing a similar performance themselves.
Things don’t get any easier for the Black Cats because they face West Ham, searching for some form of their own, away from home and under a lot of pressure.
If Sunderland get relegated then a change in manager would be understandable, but there is still a very remote chance that the club’s board members won’t be put in that difficult position before the end of the campaign.