Sam Allardyce has warned Sunderland they will go down if they rely on other teams to get them out of relegation trouble.
The Black Cats host Crystal Palace on Tuesday evening still smarting from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham, during which they created more than enough chances to get something from the game, but ultimately left Upton Park empty-handed.
As luck would have it, they ended the weekend no worse off with fellow strugglers Aston Villa, Norwich and Swansea all losing and Newcastle not in action, although that provided little comfort to their 61-year-old manager.
Allardyce said: “It doesn’t matter. Twenty-three points, 27 games – if the season finishes now, we are relegated, so you have got to get to 38 points or better, it’s as simple as that.
“It doesn’t matter what anybody else does, you have got to go and do it yourself. You can’t rely on others, you have got to do it yourself.
“If you rely on others, you’ll get relegated.”
Sunderland have just 11 games remaining in which to dig themselves out of trouble for a fourth successive season, and Allardyce has set them a target of five victories to give themselves a chance.
He said: “We have got 11 games and we have got to have our best run of the season. We have got to pick up five victories if we can in 11 minimum, and that’s 38 points in the hope that 38 points is going to be enough again this year.”