Sunderland may be enjoying an impressive campaign in the third tier, but they did not get to have the relative success this season has afforded to them without some dark times.
And the Black Cats have had their fair share of disastrous moments in recent years.
Relegated from the Premier League, there was an ambition to get out of the Championship at the first attempt.
Chris Coleman’s side certainly did that.
A dismal year in the top flight ended in relegation, and despite being one of the favourites for promotion the following year, it was an immediate exit from the Championship.
But through the trapdoor.
After an abhorrent second season in a row, Sunderland were relegated to League One after a controversial defeat to Burton Albion at the Stadium of Light on April 21, 2018.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) April 21, 2018
The club confirmed their second successive demotion after the defeat, and the reaction from the fans was certainly not lost in the deflation of relegation.
Here’s what they had to say on social media following the confirmation of their drop to the third tier of English football.
Out of the division at the first attempt! Just like the said they would! #Accrington
— Mark Austin (@TPTMerch) April 21, 2018
Today's result? Sickness at the club for years have led to this sorry mess.
— Chris Weston (@chrisweston) April 21, 2018
Sad day….hard to believe this could happen to such a great club…. change is needed…. now
— Kevin Wilson (@JKWilson74) April 22, 2018
Utter disgrace, shamble, embarrassment! Never would I expect my team to be this bad! Im ashamed to support this joke of a club with players and staff who have been poorly treat (not given a chance with the debt and selling best players) by the hierarchy! #shortout #clearout safc
— Nick Hall (@NickHall5287) April 21, 2018
Having won just six games all of last season, the writing was on the ball for the Black Cats who must have thought they had the luck of one having succumbed to a second relegation in two years, which would end with the club bottom of the Championship.
The once proud, Premier League mainstay was on its knees and regaining consciousness after two knock-out blows were dealt and are pushing to make it back to the second-tier at the first attempt.
The fans reaction to the drop held the club in contempt and desperately questioned where they go from there.
But they have learnt from that and turned the negative atmosphere around with the fans once again enjoying their team being successful after such a long time in the doldrums.