Sunderland fans might have been spared the potential embarrassment of their first team losing to Newcastle’s kids in the checkatrade trophy, following a Police ban on the pair facing each other.

However, they are having to face the reality of just how limited their team are now, or at least many/most of them are (facing the reality).

Whilst Newcastle play their opening pre-season friendly on Tuesday (away at St Patrick’s Athletic), the Mackems have already played two.

The first game saw an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to sixth tier Darlington.

Then on Saturday they looked to be repeating that result against fifth tier Hartlepool, only for an injury time equaliser to slightly lower the embarrassment levels.

Despite the new owners telling Sunderland fans everything they want to hear, including how much they have always despised Newcastle United, the true state of the club will be reflected on the pitch.

In under three weeks they kick off their League One season and after watching their players struggling against such lowly opposition, it has been a wake up call for many of them, though not quite all judging by the comments below.

It will get very interesting if when the season kicks off, the Sunderland fans see their team continue to struggle and supporters realise what chancers their new owners are.

Sunderland fans react via their ‘Ready To Go’  message board

‘We’ve got some season ahead.’

‘I’ve honestly got no idea where any of the new signings play. I haven’t been paying much attention with the World Cup being on. Not that I’d have known them anyway.’

‘My Poolie mates are laughing at us ffs.’

‘It’s hard not to be concerned though. There’s an awful lot to do in the next few weeks and whilst I expect players to arrive they need to be better than what we’ve already got in so far, much better.’

‘We are in really bad shape. I don’t know why people are kidding themselves otherwise. McGeough is a good player, question marks on ability/fitness for rest.’

‘Some good attacking play. I feel more positive now I’ve watched it.

A new striker or two should see us mid table.

I’m a realist not a pessimist.’

We had run away worst side last year & that was with Grabban getting us a fair few points. Imagine if he wasn’t playing and it was Vaughan/Maja in his role first half of the season. McNair got us a goood 8-9 points late in season anarl and now he’s gone.’

‘Mind, we didn’t play half as bad as people were making out. Must’ve had 10 attempts at goal easily.’

‘For a team with so many new faces and only a couple of slightly competitive games that did not look too bad.’

‘Weather looked good.’

‘The result of pre-season games are rarely an indication of how a season will pan out. Yes we’re hardly pulling up trees at the moment but the squad rebuild is nowhere near complete.

The side that takes the field vs Charlton will I reckon look radically different.

The size of the rebuild is enormous, I’m not drawing any conclusions about how we’ll get on next season until the transfer window closes and we see where we are.’

‘Can’t possibly see us getting off to a fast start this season regardless.’

‘Looking at our currently midfield/forward line, I can’t see people getting on the end of many crosses.’

‘A decent Striker and we’d have won that 5-0.’

‘Love is barely a right back. Him centre half is a terrifying prospect.’

‘He’s just a f…ing sh… footballer let’s be honest.’

‘He’s utterly f…ing dreadful mate. I’ve no idea how he ever got picked up in the first place. It comes to a point when you’re missing Billy Jones.’

‘Liked the one and two touch stuff JR is obviously keen for them to master, I can also see how Cattermole will struggle with it!’

Graham Porter