After years of keeping their heads just above water after being written off time and time again, Sunderland finally succumbed to relegation from the Premier League last season, and the long-suffering supporters would have been hoping to use their time in the Championship to wipe the slate clean and start again - much like, as much as the fans would hate to admit it, Newcastle did last term.
Unfortunately, even after parting company with David Moyes and replacing him with Simon Grayson, life in the second tier has not gone to plan for the Black Cats and they find themselves languishing near the bottom of the table, with just one point coming from their first five home games.
It is still early in the campaign, but their start has left many concerned that Sunderland may become the latest side to go from the top flight to League One in the quickest possible amount of time.
And as HITC Sport found out, the fans are already starting to fear that this season may end a very similar way to last term.
"I think there might be a danger of relegation if we don't pull our socks up," one fan told HITC Sport.
"The players they've brought in are not good enough, they're not even Championship players in my eyes. School kids could play better," another added.
Grayson's record in the Championship is not a bad one as he has previously done particularly well with both Leeds and Preston North End, but it appears that the fans are already starting to doubt whether he is actually the man who can turn things around at the Stadium of Light.
"Our manager's tactically inept. He doesn't know what he's doing. And we've got players who are good enough, but he plays them out of position constantly and he doesn't know how to play the right formation or tactics."
Grayson certainly has some sympathy from some however, with many blaming owner Ellis Short for the club's decline. But perhaps surprisingly, the American businessman has also received some sympathy.
"Personally, I don't blame Ellis Short. He's put £200 million of his own money in and the people who are meant to know what they are doing don't - they've wasted money," one supporter reasoned.
"The owner, he hasn't got a clue about football. He's tried to come and make as much money as he can," another fan claimed.
It appears to be a very precarious time for Sunderland. But unfortunately for the Black Cats supporters, there is little reason to suggest right now that there is any light appearing at the end of the tunnel, and another relegation may potentially be on the cards this year.
But ominously, one fan believes that falling into League One may not be the end of their plight.
"It would cripple us financially. I don't think we'd get back up. I think we'd go even further. I think we'd do a Portsmouth."
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