Fabio Borini hopes Sunderland can achieve Premier League safety long before the final week of next season.
Saturday’s battling 3-2 win over Chelsea eased the Black Cats out of the relegation zone as derby rivals Newcastle failed to win at relegated Aston Villa, and victory over Everton on Wednesday evening will secure the club’s top flight status and send the Magpies down with Norwich and Aston Villa.
Should that prove to be the case, it would be a fourth successive rescue mission for the Black Cats and Borini, a veteran of the late surge two seasons ago during his loan spell from Liverpool, is hoping next season will be a little less eventful.
He said: “It would be nice to do that. Next year if we manage to do it this year, maybe we do it mid-season. That would be nice.
“Sunderland is used to this and it’s nice to feel this way. It’s not finished – we need to focus on ourselves, like we did today.
“We didn’t think about the result when we were down twice, we just kept going, kept believing and had the desire to get back into the game and win the game.”
Sam Allardyce’s men had to fight all the way for a precious three points having fallen behind to Diego Costa’s 14th-minute opener and then after Wahbi Khazri had levelled with a stunning volley, Nemanja Matic’s injury-time strike.
But Borini levelled once again with 67 minutes gone to set the stage for Jermain Defoe to win it three minutes later with his 18th goal of the season and his first at the Stadium of Light since January 2.