Sam Allardyce has outlined how Sunderland will remain in the Premier League, claiming that they need to have their destiny in their own hands heading into the final game of the season.
The Black Cats only managed to draw with Stoke on Saturday, Jermain Defoe netting a late penalty, and it saw the Wearside club fall into the bottom three.
Newcastle moved out of the relegation places with a win over Crystal Palace, but Allardyce’s men have a game in hand over their local rivals.
And he has made it clear that winning that game is vital if the Black Cats are to survive, as it puts their destiny in their own hands.
The 61-year-old said: “We’ve got a game in hand, and when that game comes around, we’ve got to be in a position to win it to go above Newcastle.
“We play Everton, in what is the biggest game of the season, to try and win that to go above Newcastle, and then see what happens in the last game.
“By the time the last game comes around, we need to be however many points – or even goal difference – better than Newcastle as we go into the last game, as then our destiny is in our own hands.”
The Black Cats take on Chelsea and then Everton, two very winnable games against opponents who have nothing left to play for this year.
Their final game of the season is against Watford, who themselves are in poor form. However, manager Quique Sanchez Flores could fear losing his job, and he may urge his players to put in a top class performance to help him impress the club’s owners.