Sunderland’s return of just one defeat in the last two months has gone under the radar, believes Sam Allardyce.
The Black Cats have the chance to secure their Premier League status if they beat Everton tonight, yet prior to Saturday’s win over Chelsea at least, there was deep frustration at Allardyce’s men inability to save their skins earlier in the season.
We haven’t had a huge amount of publicity about a struggling team in the bottom three going nine games with only one defeat.
Sunderland registered draws from the jaws of victory against Southampton, Newcastle and West Brom and there was a nagging sense that those results would come back to haunt them.
But the totting up of the draws has ultimately helped Sunderland move into pole position for survival, with last month’s 2-0 defeat to champions Leicester the only loss in the last nine games.
Sunderland have only suffered four defeats in total during 2016, with Allardyce’s side registering 23 points from 17 games since the turn of the year.
“I always say to the players that if you can’t win the game, then don’t lose, which is one of the reasons why we’ve got out of trouble,” said Allardyce.
“We’ve only lost one in nine, and I think everybody’s forgot that because we’ve slipped up on so many occasions to win games and ended up drawing.
“But we haven’t had a huge amount of publicity about a struggling team in the bottom three going nine games with only one defeat.
“That’s pretty good, even though we’re actually disappointed that we know we should have had more wins in there.
“All those points have accumulated from eight games out of nine, which is a fantastic effort, even if we’re pretty disappointed at the amount of chances we had to get more.”