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David Moyes fears Sunderland are in danger of being dragged into the Premier League relegation battle this season.
Sunderland were in the bottom three for the majority of last season but managed to avoid the drop with a late run of form under Sam Allardyce.
Moyes took over at the Stadium of Light following Allardyce's appointment as England manager but two defeats in their opening two Premier League games has left the Black Cats in 18th place.
When told that fans fear a relegation battle, Moyes replied: "Well, they would probably be right because that's where they've been every other year for the last four years, so why would it suddenly change?
"I think it will be, I don't think you can hide the facts, that will be the case, yes. People will be flat because they are hoping that something is going to dramatically change - it can't dramatically change, it can't."
Sunderland have already lost Younes Kaboul to Watford and face a battle to hang on to Lamine Kone and Moyes admits they must bring in some new faces before the transfer deadline on August 31.
"What we have got, we are having to add to it with young players as well as one or two experienced players, and we have got to try to get the balance right and obviously choose and get the right players at the right price in the transfer market," Moyes added.
"That's actually quite difficult. It's easy said, but it's not that easy and the prices, as you can imagine, are a bit more than they have been in the past."
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