Allardyce, who thought Sunderland should have had an earlier penalty after claiming Cameron was guilty of handball, said: “The referee was brave enough to give the penalty and we’re still fighting.
“That’s 14 Premier League goals for Jermain in a struggling side.
“Without him we would have probably already been relegated. He’s scored vital goals and kept us in a position where we can avoid relegation.”
It was a case for brave hearts in the Sunderland ranks to keep clawing away from the Premier League trap door – to show the same diehard spirit exposed, literally, by two of their travelling fans who cheered on their heroes bare-chested in the Arctic cold.
But any early fight and ferocity was displayed by Stoke who could be forgiven for thinking about packing away the flip-flops such is their mid-table security.
Not that Hughes would let them relax for one minute after such a dismal late-season run. He had demanded a full-throttle performance – and got it in a driven first 45 minutes.