Former Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton helped end Sunderland’s automatic promotion dream last night.

His Fleetwood side welcomed the Black Cats to Highbury Stadium, with Sunderland needing a win to ensure they weren’t officially destined for the playoffs.

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But it wasn’t to be for Jack Ross’ men, with Fleetwood coming from behind to win 2-1. Ashley Eastham won it in the 95th minute, much to the delight of Barton.

The manager spoke to Sky Sports News after the game with a massive grin on his face, unable to hide his delight at getting one over the rivals of his former side.

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“As a former Newcastle player it’s quite enjoyable,” he told Sky Sports News after the game.

“Especially when they sing what they sing about me for 65 minutes of the game, then go relatively quiet when the lads get us back in it and go on and win it.”

Barton sends the Black Cats to the playoffs

The defeat means that Sunderland now can’t finish in the top two and will have to navigate their way through the playoffs if they want to return to the Championship at the first time of asking.

Draws have been their undoing, losing just four times but drawing a whopping 19 games.

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Many backed the Mackems for an immediate return to the Championship with the budget they possessed, but things have been harder than anticipated.

Some people tipped that Newcastle and Sunderland would meet next season in the second tier, but that won’t happen with Rafa Benitez’s men securing survival in the Premier League once again.

But at least Sunderland can still cherish that famous victory over our youth side earlier in the campaign.

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