Former Sunderland manager Lawrie McMenemy expects the Wearsiders to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Sunderland are three points clear of third-bottom Hull City and have a game in hand against Arsenal on Wednesday, but have an inferior goal difference to the Yorkshire club, who host Manchester United on Sunday’s final day.
Also in the mix are Newcastle United, where Gateshead-born McMenemy started his career as a youth-team player.
Newcastle are two points above Hull and have the worst goal difference of the three ahead of their last match of the season at home to West Ham.
“It’s quite amazing to see Sunderland and Newcastle in the situation they’re in when you bear in mind the support they have up there,” he told Perform.
“The size of the ground, the passion they have up there. It’s an everyday thing, it’s a way of life.
“I think unfortunately another man from the north east [Hull manager] Steve Bruce might be the one that’s unlucky. The other two will hang on and then they’ve got to have the summer to regroup and look forward.”
Lawrie McMenemy was speaking at an event for the Football Foundation, which is funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government through Sport England, and is celebrating 15 years of improving the country’s grassroots football facilities
McMenemy was unveiled as a Football Foundation Ambassador and was speaking at a visit to one of nearly 500 3G pitches the Foundation has delivered. Many of these pitches are used by professional clubs’ community trusts’ outreach work.
Since its launch in 2000, the Foundation has supported 13,000 grassroots sport projects with grants worth £520million and leveraged £736m in additional partnership funding, thereby delivering schemes with a total project cost of £1.24bn.
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