Asked about facing this relegation fight with Sunderland, Sam Allardyce responded with…”Been here, Seen it, Done it’ at his pre-Chelsea press conference.
Whilst Rafa Benitez has had under two months to try and sort the mess at Newcastle United, Sam Allardyce has been at Sunderland for six months and had the benefit of a transfer window to bring his own players in.
In those six months Sunderland have seen an incredible rise from 19th to 18th position in the table, yet there is surprisingly little/no scrutiny or criticism at the lack of improvement he has brought to the club.
Clearly seeing Newcastle rather than Norwich as the team that has to be overcome in this relegation run-in, Sam Allardyce said:
“If Newcastle win (at Villa) we can’t come away from our game without at least a point….everybody expects Newcastle to beat Aston Villa.”
When asked about Alan Pardew’s ‘prehistoric’ retort to claims by Allardyce that Palace would have been ‘out on the pop; after qualifying for the FA Cup final and not giving the Newcastle match 100%, the Sunderland Manager responded with:
“Do I look bothered?”
Sam Allardyce claims that the relegation fight will come down to whoever best handles the pressure, pointing to the title race being decided on Monday due to Tottenham not handling the situation.
He is hoping for two Sunderland wins at home in the next week against Chelsea & Everton and that would leave Newcastle needing to beat both Villa and Spurs to stand any chance of staying up, Sunderland then only requiring a draw at Watford on the final day.
“You can see what pressure can do, Spurs losing control under that pressure (against Chelsea on Monday)…you don’t normally see a Tottenham team going around hacking a team like they did.
“That’s the last thing we want to see in the last three games, we want to see controlled passion, desire, commitment but we don’t want to see us lose control, we have to put everything into trying to beat a strong Chelsea side.”
“If we can get back to back wins at home, which we did once, before going to Watford on the last day that would be ideal…massive week, massive pressure.
“I think the three clubs involved, it is who copes with the pressure the best and delivers the results. We are in the dog-fight and we have a full house on Saturday against Chelsea, hopefully they will be the 12th man and we win the game.”