Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Even Coleman's Using the 'R' Word Now

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Even Coleman's Using the 'R' Word Now

Article excerpt

IF anyone really needed a portent that the end is nigh, it came in Chris Coleman's pre-match Press conference.

He actually did it. He used the "R" word.

Okay, it is not the first time the Welshman has said "relegated" or "relegation" as Sunderland manager, but it is very rare.

Up until now he has often twisted himself in knots rather than speak directly about it. Usually it is "if the worst happens" or "whatever happens next season". This from a manager who has regularly - and rightly - been praised for his plain speaking about the Wearsiders' plight.

It is not that the towel has come in. He was not saying that Sunderland would be relegated, of course - "football being football, it's not over for us" - but was this perhaps the start of him coming to terms with what has for a while looked inevitable? He was not telling us anything we did not know when he said that, "Whoever loses (Saturday's game at home to Burton Albion) could be relegated. …

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