BBC pundit has his say on Sunderland, admits he pities their fans

Sunderland Fans

Former England striker Chris Sutton says he does not envy Black Cats supporters having to watch a relegation battle year after year.

BBC pundit Chris Sutton has admitted to BBC Radio 5 Live that he would not want to be a Sunderland fan having to watch the club battle relegation year after year, as quoted by the Sunderland Echo.

The Black Cats have surrendered a lead late on in each of their last two matches, following Virgil van Dijk's 93rd-minute equaliser for Southampton by conceding an 83rd-minute leveller to arch-rivals Newcastle United in the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday.

Had Sam Allardyce's side held on to those two leads, they would be six points ahead of the Magpies and two points clear of the relegation zone heading into the last eight matches of the campaign.

However, as it is, they are two points adrift of Norwich City in 17th and just a point ahead of Newcastle, with both North East sides holding a game in hand over the East Anglia club.

With Sunderland struggling desperately again this season, they have faced a bitter relegation fight in six of their nine years in the Premier League since being promoted back from the Championship in 2007.

Sutton told 5 Live that the Black Cats must be one of the hardest teams to support in the Premier League on an annual basis, and admitted that he would not want to be in the same boat as the club's fans.

The 43-year-old said, as quoted by the Echo: "Sunderland do it [battle relegation] every year, who would want to be a Sunderland fan?

"It'd take 20 years off your life watching them every week! Blimey, everyone up there must be bald or grey.

"The last four years, it must be terrible. It must be great for a week during the summer, and then it's the same old."

Those back-to-back draws, from which Sunderland emerged with two points when they should really have taken all six, have left Allardyce's side deep in trouble and still in poor form results-wise.

The Stadium of Light club have won just one of their last nine Premier League matches and must now wait two weeks to attempt to address that issue again, when they host West Bromwich Albion after the international break.

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