Die-hard Sunderland fans say their team will defy the predictions of experts to beat the drop this season.
The Black Cats begin their Premier League campaign away at Leicester City today after narrowly escaping relegation in each of the past three years.
And going into the 2015/16 former Liverpool players Jamie Redknapp and Jamie Carragher, both now pundits with Sky Sports, have tipped the Wearsiders fall into the Championship.
But fans have hit back, saying there is no reason why Dick Advocaat’s men cannot confound expectations to finish in comfortable mid-table.
Martyn McFadden, editor of the independent A Love Supreme fanzine, said: “Sunderland have been perennial strugglers for the last few seasons, so they’re bound to mention us as one of the teams who will go down even though it’s a bit annoying for our fans.
“We’re all tired of Sunderland struggling against the drop so it’s not surprising that they tipping us to go down, although it’s amazing how often pundits get it wrong.
We’re all tired of Sunderland struggling against the drop so it’s not surprising that they tipping us to go down, although it’s amazing how often pundits get it wrong.Martyn McFadden of A Love Supreme fanzine
“We’re hoping that we have invested enough in new players and will invest some more before the window shuts.”
Veteran supporter George Forster, of the Sunderland Supporters’ Association, said: “I’m sure that with the manager and squad we have we can finish comfortably mid-table for once.
“I’m impressed with what I’ve seen of (Jeremain) Lens in pre-season but we still need a new forward signed to put the ball in the net.
“I feel like I keep saying this but I just hope we do better than last year.”