Despite a 2-1 win on the afternoon against Lincoln City, Sunderland will remain in League One for the fourth season in a row after losing out to the Imps on aggregate in their play-off semi-final.
The Black Cats had the backing of 10,000 passionate Wearsiders and after two first half goals from Ross Stewart and Charlie Wyke it looked as though they had all the momentum going into the second half.
But Lincoln returned a different team and Tom Hopper’s goal ended up being the crucial one to send them to Wembley – the scoreline could have been made even sweeter but Jorge Grant’s penalty was stopped by Lee Burge.
Despite all their efforts, Sunderland couldn’t find a way past Alex Palmer once again and it meant that it was play-off disappointment once again for Lee Johnson’s side.
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There will be many who feel as though the players let the fans down but one person who showed some sympathy is former Black Cats striker Victor Anichebe, who has backed Lee Johnson to get promotion next season if he’s backed to build the squad he desires.
Anichebe’s message is very clear – back Lee Johnson and Sunderland will succeed next season.
New owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus probably expected the Black Cats to win the play-offs and it will be a big disappointment to him that they’ve fallen at the semi-final stage, and now big decisions need to be made.
It’s apparently not out of the question that Johnson will lose his job, but many won’t want it to come to that despite the disappointment of losing yesterday – he should get some money to spend in the summer to try and put his own stamp on Sunderland as he’s not been able to do that just yet.