Sam Allardyce hopes to dismiss predecessor Dick Advocaat’s fears by proving that Sunderland are good enough to beat the drop.
New Sunderland manager Allardyce knows he has a rescue mission on his hands to preserve the club’s Premier League status after taking charge of a side lying second bottom in the table with just three points from the opening eight games.
It’s given me an opportunity to manage a big football club, with big support.
That perilous start persuaded ex-boss Advocaat to resign as Sunderland head coach 10 days ago, before subsequently claiming that the Black Cats squad was: “simply not good enough”.
But Allardyce, unveiled to the media yesterday, is relishing the challenge of reversing Sunderland’s ominous start to the season.
He told the Echo: “It’s up to me to prove him (Advocaat) wrong, isn’t it?
“I fully respect what Dick Advocaat has achieved as a manager and everyone is entitled to their opinion.
“My job is to hopefully prove Dick wrong and get them out of trouble.
“I haven’t spoken to Dick and his reasons are his reasons.
“It’s given me an opportunity to manage a big football club, with big support.
“It’s the seventh best supported club in the country, but there’s been very little to shout about.
“Hopefully we can give 42,000 fans a lot more to be happy with, particularly in the next two games.”
After succeeding Advocaat, Allardyce became Sunderland’s sixth manager in the space of four years, with that rapid turnover in the dug-out one of the chief reasons for the club’s annual place in the doldrums at the wrong end of the Premier League table.
Two of Allardyce’s good friends, ex-Sunderland bosses Peter Reid and Steve Bruce, enjoyed longer spells in charge at the Stadium of Light before they too were shown the door.
And Allardyce knows that the only way he can change the nature of the revolving door at Sunderland is by achieving a winning habit.
“I know full well about what Reidy went through because I was here (as director of youth) at that particular time,” he added.
“I was managing Bolton when he eventually lost his job, which was extremely disappointing based on the journey that they’d been on.
“Steve was obviously another man that spent two-and-a-half years here and he was bitterly disappointed when it come to an end.
“But we’re all responsible for keeping our own jobs by making the players achieve the results everyone wants.
“That’s how we keep our jobs. The only way we lose them is when we lose too many football matches.
“In the end, I’m responsible for results here, even though this team is not my team.
“I have to accept it’s my responsibility to get this team playing better.
“There won’t be any excuses down the line if I don’t get results.”