Ex-Sunderland striker Darren Bent could have huge say in relegation battle as Championship's worst teams meet

Sunderland fans have the exciting prospect of watching the two worst teams in the Championship play against each other when Burton Albion visit Wearside on Saturday.

Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 11:30 am
Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.

It is arguably the biggest club in the division against the smallest but both look locked together on their way to the footballing outback of League One.

To be fair to Burton, just being in the Championship is an achievement, they are punching above their weight and have to be admired for that.

But there is no such excuse for Sunderland who, as usual, are massively punching below their weight.

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Burton will also go into the game on the back of a morale boosting win over Derby County, while Sunderland have thrown points away like confetti in the last three games.

For Sunderland’s mentally fragile players, at least they know they are playing one of the few teams they have beaten this campaign so that rarest of achievements of a first double is a possibility.

However, if that is to happen, then Sunderland have to overcome their home hoodoo, another thing they have struggled with, as a meagre two wins on home soil all season proves.

Burton manager Nigel Clough will be as desperate for the points as Chris Coleman and he will also have the motivation of managing against the club were his legendary father Brian was revered.

Seeing a Clough in one of the technical areas at Sunderland will be a reminder to older Sunderland fans that Brian Clough himself should have been Sunderland boss many decades ago - just another error of judgement made by a club that specialises in taking the wrong option.

Another Sunderland connection in the Burton ranks is former striker Darren Bent and like all returning former players, he will have a point to prove and if he does come back to haunt us it won’t surprise anyone in the slightest.

So, Sunderland could theoretically beat Burton and win the two games after and still go down - what a position to be in.


I can’t finish off my column this week without sending my congratulations to Sunderland AFC Supporters’ Association chairman George Forster for his Championship Supporter of the Year award.

Forget the Championship though, George is Champions League in every way!

George is an absolute credit to our football club and a reminder that in these darkest of times, thanks to people like George, Sunderland can still win things.

I know he will play this latest award down but nobody deserves it more and no matter what division Sunderland are in next season - because of the likes of George Forster - Sunderland football club will always be great.