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Sunderland weren’t shocked when FA approached them over Sam Allardyce: they expected it

13 Jul

He’s experienced, possesses excellent man-management skills, has forward-thinking ideas and, just as importantly, has skin as tough as leather.

Criticism will be water off a duck’s back to the 61-year-old, a man for whom the phrase self-confidence could have been invented.

At the Stadium of Light, he required all those qualities to save Sunderland from relegation.

Well, not quite all because he never had to fend off criticism from fans even during a wretched five-match losing run in December when the Black Cats looked in danger of being marooned at the foot of the table.

Unlike at clubs such as Newcastle and West Ham, Allardyce was welcomed with open arms by the Mackem faithful. They trusted his judgement and consoled themselves in his expertise and pedigree.

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