Lee Johnson has admitted that it will be ‘extremely difficult’ for Sunderland to earn promotion to the Championship automatically after their latest defeat.
Johnson makes Sunderland admission
The Black Cats lost 1-0 to Blackpool on Saturday, their third defeat in a row after losing 2-1 to both Charlton and Wigan (Sky Sports). They are now eight points behind Peterborough in second place with just five games left to play (BBC).
Speaking after the defeat to the Seasiders, Johnson admitted that his side must now look to earn promotion via the play-offs. He said (via The Chronicle):
“It looks now that it is going to be extremely difficult to get into that top two, which is very disappointing after putting so much effort into getting there.
“Now we have to secure that second chance, but keep going and building performances because you never know it [automatic promotion] might still happen because there are still 15 points to play for.
“We’ve lost three games on the spin, two of those – against Charlton at home and then today – I didn’t think we deserved to lose, but it’s happened.
“There’s not a lot we can do about that.
“There have been three losses, but two of those have been decent performances and the other [at Wigan] was a really bad one.”
Prior to this dreadful three-game run, it really looked as though the Wearside outfit had a realistic chance of automatic promotion. They even had their fate in their own hands but, as Johnson has said, the three defeats have all but ended those hopes and they must now concentrate on the play-offs.
Will Sunderland get promoted?
They are currently six points clear of seventh place, so they should earn a play-off spot, but they must ensure that they do by bouncing back quickly. Given the way they have battled to be in contention for the top two, it would be a huge shame if they now totally threw away their promotion chances.
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