Recruitment is crucial – Allardyce

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce has won nine of his 29 games in charge at the Stadium of Light to lead Sunderland to safety

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce says recruitment is key next season to avoid the club doing a “lap of honour avoiding relegation”.

The Black Cats beat Everton 3-0 on Wednesday to secure their Premier League safety and relegate Newcastle and Norwich to the Championship.

Allardyce, appointed in October, said players like those signed in January can help his team push on next season.

“The next set of recruitment is crucial for the football club,” he said.

Wahbi Khazri, Jan Kirchhoff and Lamine Kone were brought in by the 61-year-old in January and played a key role in Sunderland’s resurgence as the side produced a run of just one defeat in their past 10 games.

Sunderland will now benefit from a share of the Premier League’s record £5.136bn television deal, which starts next season.

Allardyce, who has never been relegated from the top flight as a manager, told Sky Sports: “We’ve just secured the financial side of being in the Premier League.

“What that gives us in terms of spending power is the same as everybody – so we need to recruit like we did in January because I think the contributions of those players has been really big for this team to come out of trouble.”

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Sunderland 3-0 Everton: It turned out rosy in the end – Sam Allardyce

Allardyce also praised the contribution of 33-year-old striker Jermain Defoe and said the club could not have stayed up without his 15 Premier League goals.

“Jermain ended up winning us games and in the end that has got us safe,” said the former Bolton, Blackburn, Newcastle and West Ham boss.

“The players got fitter, everything came together and paid off with the extra quality we bought in January – and Defoe, who scored a number of goals you did not expect from a team in the bottom three. We turned everything round and it turned out nice and rosy.

“If you go back into November, Everton 6-2 Sunderland, it shows how far we’ve come today.”

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The Championship twitter account doesn’t waste any time – Norwich and Newcastle were swiftly added following their relegation from the Premier League

Newcastle’s fate is sealed

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Rafael Benitez was appointed Newcastle manager in March

Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley said the club were “devastated” after their Premier League fate was sealed without kicking a ball.

“I want to thank all of the fans for the support you have shown for the club you love throughout the season, in spite of this massive disappointment and underachievement,” he said.

Newcastle sacked Steve McClaren in March, after the former England boss won just six of 28 Premier League games in charge of the Magpies.

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, who was dismissed by Real Madrid in January, was appointed as McClaren’s successor but was unable to turn the team’s fortunes around.

The Spaniard, 55, signed a three-year contract, which is understood to contain a break clause if Newcastle were relegated.

Charnley thanked the fans for their support, adding: “Nothing more could be asked of you and I am truly sorry we have not given you the outcome you deserve.

“I also want to thank every single member of staff here. This club is their livelihood, but they are fans too.

“We know that supporters want to know what the future holds and will want to hear more from us as soon as possible. The process of scrutinising what went wrong and planning for what is to come has already begun.”

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Disappointment for Norwich

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Norwich 4-2 Watford: I’ve let the club and fans down – Alex Neil

Norwich manager Alex Neil says that inadequate recruitment and “vital errors at crucial times” were to blame for his side’s relegation.

The Canaries ended their home campaign with a 4-2 victory over Watford but it was not enough to extend their stay in the top flight to a second season as a result of Sunderland’s win over Everton.

“It is severe disappointment,” said Neil.

“In recent matches we have known it was going to be a difficult match. We had it in our hands five matches ago but we came up short.”

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Norwich have lost 12 of 18 matches in 2016

Having brought in four players in the summer, including midfielders Graham Dorrans, Youssouf Mulumbu and Robbie Brady, City made five further signings in January.

Defenders Ivo Pinto and Timm Klose came in from Dinamo Zagreb and Wolfsburg respectively, and striker Steven Naismith arrived from Everton.

However, since the turn of the year they have lost 12 of 18 league matches.

Neil paid tribute to the club’s fans, describing them as “humbling”.

“We have not given them too much to shout about and that makes it harder for me to accept for letting them down,” he added.

“I am here to do a job, the club will be bigger than me and I am not fearing for my job.”

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