The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Matt Wright

HOMEGROWN mid­fielder Ge­orge Honey­man ad­mits Sun­der­land’s calami­tous relegation to League One will linger in his thoughts for a long time.

Sun­der­land be­came just the third team in the last 25 years to suf­fer back-to­back rel­e­ga­tions from the Premier League to the third tier as a re­sult of their 2-1 loss at home to Bur­ton last week.

The Black Cats had won only six times in the league go­ing into Fri­day night’s match at Ful­ham.

Af­ter tak­ing over from Simon Grayson last Novem­ber, man­ager Chris Cole­man has been un­able to stop the rot at the Sta­dium of Light and his club faces third-tier foot­ball for the first time in 30 years.

Honey­man said: “For me to play my first full sea­son for Sun­der­land and be in a team that’s been rel­e­gated from the Cham­pi­onship is some­thing that’s al­ways go­ing to live with me.

“I was des­per­ate for it not to hap­pen, but I ob­vi­ously wasn’t good enough and we all haven’t been good enough.

“Ob­vi­ously we’ve got to learn from it, but it feels all too late for that.

“I didn’t see the ban­ner at the (Bur­ton) game say­ing that we’re the worst team in the club’s his­tory, but that sort of stuff is go­ing to linger with me for the rest of my life.”

It’s cer­tainly not how Honey­man would have wanted to re­mem­ber what has been a break­through year for the 23-year-old, who has fea­tured in all but two of Sun­der­land’s league games.

He is now des­per­ate to be part of a team the club’s fans can be proud of, say­ing: “If you’re putting in a good per­for­mance and play­ing well, they’re bet­ter than any set of fans.

“If you’re not play­ing well then it’s a tough place to play, but if you can’t han­dle it, don’t be here.”

BLOW: Ge­orge Honey­man

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