They need to sort this quickly: What the pundits said about Sunderland's relegation

Paul Merson
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Sunderland's demise was one of the most talked about football matters over the weekend, with the likes of Paul Merson, Niall Quinn and Michael Owen wading into the debate.

Here's what a selection of pundits said about the club's relegation and what they must do to bounce back.

Dean Saunders: "I feel sorry for the Sunderland fans. It's been three or four years of just turning up, watching the club and getting beat most weeks. It's a good job Defoe has been playing, he's got 14 goals this season and if he wasn't in their team they'd probably have been relegated by Christmas."

Michael Owen: "You fear for them. There's one or two players there, I'm thinking of Defoe and Pickford, who you think Premier league clubs will come calling for and try and take them away from Sunderland, and behind those two there's very little quality."

Alan Shearer: "Sunderland have had it coming to them for the last few years, haven't they? They’ve flirted with relegation for the last three or four years and had a few miracles out there but it was always going to happen because of the situation that they find themselves in."

Niall Quinn: "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."

Paul Merson: "If they kept this team, they should come back. It all depends on what players they get in. You are talking about playing for a top club, they are going to be one of the big boys in that league. They need to start sitting done now and saying who is going, what players can we bring in. This needs to get sorted very quickly."