Sunderland are one of many teams who have learned how difficult it is to make it back to the Premier League after relegation from the top flight, and one man who wants to see them back to their former glory is Newcastle legend Rob Lee.
Former Magpies star Lee made the surprise admission about the Black Cats in an exclusive chat with The Transfer Tavern this week.
What Lee had to say about Sunderland
Speaking exclusively to The Transfer Tavern, he said: “It’s a big club, even for guys (like me) that are Newcastle guys, it’s still a big club, it’s a huge club.
“I’d like nothing more than to have them in the Premier League with Newcastle. You miss those derby days.”
Nail on the head
It may seem crazy to hear that Lee wants Sunderland to solve all their issues and get back to England’s top flight. Supporters of the League One side will definitely be surprised after reading these comments due to the heated rivalry between the two sides.
Indeed, some Newcastle fans will probably disagree with their former star midfield man, especially since the Black Cats have a great record against the Magpies in recent head to heads and it is much more fun for the Toon Army to watch their arch-rivals toil in the third tier. In the last ten games between the pair, Sunderland have won seven and drawn three.
That said, surely even on Tyneside supporters are missing the tension in the air on the morning of a top-flight clash between these two sides, even if they do still have visions of Paolo Di Canio knee-sliding down the touchline on derby day.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience