Sunderland legend Niall Quinn on relegation, David Moyes and what’s needed for the club to bounce back

Former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn (left), pictured with Ellis Short

Former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn (left), pictured with Ellis Short

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Sunderland legend Niall Quinn says there will be a lot of “soul-searching” in the corridors of power at the Stadium of Light after the club’s relegation.

And the former striker has called on the hierarchy to come up with a defined and clear plan in order to turn the club’s fortunes around after the 10-year Premier League stay came to an end.

“There is a period of deep reflection to be taken,” said Quinn.

“It’s a tough time but there is only one way to deal with it and that’s to show a real ability to bounce back, and what happens in the next few months off the pitch will determine that. The fans deserve some form of rescue plan to get the club back into the Premier League. There will be soul-searching behind the scenes.

“It’s been a long period of struggle and in some ways this might be what is needed to clear everything out and go again. I just hope it works,” he told Sky Sports.

David Moyes has come under fire and Quinn said the manager has to take his share of the blame, adding: “It was noticeable that the fans turned recently, as opposed to the start when they said he was under a lot of pressure and they believe in him. Near the end a certain number of fans decided to think otherwise.

“He is right in saying that there should be a week or two to calm everything down and think where can we get positive signs, how can we do it as a group, in the correct way, who is involved, and am I still there?

“If you go back to the amount of times people spoke about stability I think he provides that, but it depends what direction the board goes and how they react to everything that has gone on.

“I would like to see after the dust settles some form of plan that people can buy into and identify with and get behind. If that’s done with Moyes in the correct way then I would be happy with that.”

Rivals Newcastle United won promotion at the first time of asking and Quinn added: “They executed a great plan to get back up and I hope Sunderland do the same.

“There has to be an overhaul in terms of the club and what it is there for. To hang on for a few years as it has done has made it tough for the fans. Where do they go? Is the club in freefall or can it sustain itself again with a defined plan from top to bottom that everybody buys into?”