Successive relegations could be on the cards for Sunderland with a fall from the Premier League last season looking ever more likely to result in a crash out of the Sky Bet Championship this season.

It’s looking like black days for the Black Cats as they sit rooted to the bottom of the league table on 28 points after 37 games. With nine games, and therefore 27 points, left to play for Sunderland are five points and 12 goals from safety. That effectively six point hurdle is something that the Wearsiders will have to take in to account as the attempt to haul in the sides above them.

That hopeful climb up the table begins tomorrow with a home match against Preston North End, a side performing well at the other end of the table. Sunderland haven’t won a game since January 20, a narrow 1-0 win over Hull City at the Stadium of Light. Since that victory, Sunderland have lost six and drawn three game – the three points from a possible 27 being symptomatic of their season to press.

However, should relegation befall Sunderland and turn the Stadium of Light into something of shadowy darkness, here’s five players who Championship clubs might want to take a look at from the Black Cats’ ranks.

Five Sunderland players to cherry pick if relegated

Aiden McGeady 

McGeady joined from Everton ahead of this season and it is safe that he will not want to play his football next season in League One. The 31-year-old, 94-cap Republic of Ireland international signed for the Black Cats for a relatively nominal fee of around £250,000.

This season he has made 29 appearances, with 22 starts, and has easily paid back his transfer fee with six goals and four assists. With his footballing pedigree, he once commanded a £10 million transfer when moving from Celtic to Spartak Moscow, he would easily slot in to most, if not all Championship sides next season.

George Honeyman

23-year-old attacking midfielder George Honeyman is proving to be something of a sweet-spot for the Black Cats this season. He’s been at the Stadium of Light since signing on as a youngster in 2004. He’s almost an ever-present in the Sunderland side this season with 34 appearances (29 starts) and he’s impressed with performances that have caught the eye.

The bulk of his games and experience have come from Sunderland’s Under-23 set up, for whom he featured 68 times, scoring 11 times and providing 14 assists. He also has six Premier League appearances to his name, and it is this mix of potential and experience that will likely see him not want to ply his trade in England’s third-tier competition.

That’s two down, there’s three to go on the next page.

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.

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