Pundits Jamie Redknapp and Niall Quinn give verdict on Sunderland's hopes for season

David Moyes during the Middlesbrough game
David Moyes during the Middlesbrough game
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Sunderland are set for a 'long season' after their defeat against Middlesbrough, according to pundit Jamie Redknapp.

The Black Cats slipped to a 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light to remain pointless after their opening two Premier League matches.

An improved second-half display threatened to earn them a point, but Boro held on to consign David Moyes' men to another defeat.

Moyes came out after the game to admit he already thinks they will be in a relegation battle this season, and Sky Sports pundit Redknapp agreed.

He said: "I thought Boro controlled the game. Sunderland got better second half but there's so many problems, it's going to be a long season for them.

"They've got all sorts of problems. They've got 10 days before the window closes.

"You've got a situation where the centre back you brought in last year who did a great job, looks like he doesn't want to play for the club. How you solve that situation isn't easy. You've just sold Younes Kaboul to Watford. He was a player who was important for them last season.

"David Moyes is going to have to use all his experience to keep the team in the league this season.

"You can't keep on getting 38, 39 points and just stay up, get lucky, sack a manager after Christmas and things work out. It doesn't work like that. I don't care if you're Pep Guardiola, Mourinho, or anyone managing that club, you're going to have problems.

"I think it's going to go all the way to the wire again for them."

Redknapp was joined watching the game by former Sunderland player and chairman Niall Quinn, who said that Moyes will have learned plenty from his side after the defeat.

Quinn said: "In truth, had they got a second, had they pushed back into it and recovered a point, I think they would have been quite lucky.

"Middlesbrough had that bit of class, kept the ball better at times and Sunderland huffed and puffed.

"David Moyes learned a lot about his side today.

"The manager spoke beforehand about how he doesn't want to hear the word 'survival' and they've got to think bigger and better than that but until they get their first win I'm afraid it's still very much of the mentality 'oh my God, we'll do well to stay up'.

"He has to change that but he needs personnel.