Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce hailed the impact of their January signings as they lived to fight another season in the Premier League after a 3-0 win over Everton at the Stadium of Light.
A free-kick from Patrick van Aanholt and a double from defender Lamine Kone sealed their status in the top flight with a game to spare while condemning rivals Norwich and Newcastle to relegation to the Championship.
And the 61-year-old was quick to attribute their survival to the club’s recruitment in the January transfer window, when the likes of Kone and centre-back Jan Kirchhoff joined.
“We’ve just secured the financial side of being of the Premier League which is the most important of the season, ” Allardyce told Sky Sports.
“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.
“The next set of recruitment is crucial to the fact that this football club should not be doing a lap of honour by avoiding relegation anymore.”
Allardyce was also quick to praise striker Jermain Defoe after his goals kept the Black Cats survival hopes intact throughout the season.
“No, I don’t think so,” when asked if the club would have stayed up without his goals.
“But at the other end we couldn’t have done it without the goals chipping in and Vito Mannone again today, the back four were solid, developing into a side that is difficult to break down.
“Jermain ended up winning us games and in the end that has got us safe.
“Everybody wanted us to perform like we did against Chelsea but we did it better today.
“It’s the attitude of the players, who absorbed the pressure and deliver a performance like that, that’s what gets us out of trouble.
“That’s what been happening for the last 10 games. We’ve picked points up, the draws have led to wins and leave us safe with one game to go. For us that’s pretty miraculous and there was no way I wanted to go to Watford (needing to win on Sunday) so thanks to the lads and staff for that.
“If you go back into November, Everton 6-2 Sunderland, it shows how far we’ve come today. Especially with the players we’ve picked up in January.”