After the drop: Murray mints fresh perspective

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The Independent Football

The Sunderland chairman Bob Murray has admitted the club's long-suffering fans have every justification in feeling let down by the Black Cats' dismal slide out of the Premiership.

Not even an amazing goalless draw at Manchester United on Friday was enough to preserve Sunderland's status at the top level and the Wearsiders, with only 12 points, look destined to claim the title ofthe worst side ever to play in the Premiership.

For a club who stormed to the Championship title 12 months ago, Murray admits he never anticipated what was to follow. "At the start of the season, our worst-case scenario was still to be fighting to retain top-flight status at this stage of the season," said Murray. "Instead, we have not even managed a home win for our fans. The club's supporters feel let down at the way the season has unfolded and I fully accept those feelings."

Murray has been heavily criticised by the fans, who view him as equally culpable for their club's demise as the axed boss, Mick McCarthy. The lack of the necessary finance required to compete is one of the reasons why most Sunderland followers would welcome a new ownership consortium headed by their old favourite Niall Quinn.

Murray remains open to discussions, although for now his main priority is picking the club up off its knees, finding a permanent replacement for McCarthy and getting them ready for a promotion campaign.

"As a lifelong fan I want what is best for this club and am doing all I can to achieve that."

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