Sunderland fans are expected to continue their public display of anger directed toward David Moyes this afternoon as Bournemouth arrive at the Stadium of Light for the penultimate home fixture of the season.
A largely apathetic slump toward relegation and a collective shrug of the shoulders has characterised the Wearside crowd for the bulk of this season, but terrace angst has been building since former Black Cats' target Andre Ayew struck in the 5th minute when Sunderland played West Ham on Easter Saturday. Since then, the mood amongst supporters has dramatically changed.
Another early goal conceded against Middlesbrough midweek in the Tees-Wear derby did little to ease the antagonism aimed towards Moyes by the travelling Sunderland faithful as fresh choruses of derision were aimed towards the away dugout at the Riverside Stadium.
With Moyes suggesting he may consider his future at the end of the season, some Sunderland fans may feel a show of displeasure will convince him to walk away from a job which has become increasingly difficult with each passing fixture of the campaign.
As relegation will be confirmed either this weekend or next week, the notion of calling for change now seems largely futile, but many feel duty-bound to express their dissatisfaction with the manager who has overseen the long-feared dump into the Championship.
In truth, Sunderland should have been relegated three years ago and that fated demise has caught up with a club unable to invest wisely whatever cash its owner has spared, or build a squad which can compete consistently enough to exist anywhere outside of the bottom three in the Premier League for any length of time.
Whether a public display of outrage this afternoon will achieve any purpose is doubtful. Moyes will walk only when, and if, he wants, and certainly not this weekend. The reality is that Sunderland AFC retain no desire to sack the man they have so far stood by. The accepted logic - if it can be called such - is that Short and co. remain averse to lashing out millions jettisoning and then establishing yet another managerial set-up with so little time left in an inevitably doomed season and a summer which needs a quick start to its rebuild.
Agitation with the club is undoubtedly overdue but likely too little and too late. And whilst Moyes has become the figurehead for derision, the angst faced at the Scot masks the bigger debate which needs to be undertaken at this failed club. Sadly, the optimum time to have attempted calls to replace Moyes passed weeks if not months ago. Yet all was silent on the terraces until recent games.
With the latest financial results now published in headline form and detail due to follow after the bank holiday, the reality of how unsustainable the model - whatever it has been - employed in the last five years will continue to hammer home inch by inch amongst those with an eye on the club as a wider entity than merely a body which employs David Moyes.
Ellis Short could be forgiven for slipping his manager a bank holiday bonus this weekend for having shunted the spotlight firmly away from himself as the club's owner and firmly onto the playing side as the debate over Sunderland's future now appears to solely reverberate around the removal of Moyes.
As for the man himself, headlines yesterday speculated that the Scot may walk away from the Sunderland managerial job as the 53-year-old hinted at discussions to be held in the summer about the future direction of the relegated club, telling BBC Radio Newcastle:
All decisions will be taken at the end of the season. We'll look at things.
There's certainly a building programme required and in place here just now and it has to come back up.
We have to get Sunderland into a position where we're winning games in the Premier League, where we're winning more regularly than we have been at the moment. So that programme has to kick in.
And the value of finishing the season with some encouragement will not be lost on those observing our near neighbours about to leap-frog us into the top-tier on a season-long wave of optimism after Rafa Benitez' appointment a little over a year ago.
Moyes is targeting at least some respite from the dismal run of form which has so far characterised 2017 as he aims to at least set Sunderland up into a healthier summer rebuild and a cleanse of the abject, overpaid footballers who have made up this squad for too long:
If we can win some games between now and the end of the season, I hope that's enough to keep us in the Premier League but if it doesn't, we have to get some momentum.
We want to go into the Premier League or the Championsip [campaign] with momentum.
Continuing the five-year unfolding car crash at the Stadium of Light into the summer with a prolonged period of naval gazing and recrimination will do no favours to the club which has an enormous amount of work to do this close season just to prove it isn't completely broken.