Wednesday 28 September 2016

Allardyce warning to revitalised Black Cats

Sunderland 2 Stoke City 0

Published 29/11/2015 | 02:30

Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic holds off Sunderland's DeAndre Yedlin during the Barclays Premier League match at the Stadium of Light
Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic holds off Sunderland's DeAndre Yedlin during the Barclays Premier League match at the Stadium of Light
Sunderland's Yann M'Vila applauds the fans at the end of the match

Sam Allardyce has warned his players they are still in a relegation battle despite collecting six points in as many days. The Black Cats followed up Monday night's win at Crystal Palace with victory over 10-man Stoke to climb out of the bottom three for the first time this season.

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However, Allardyce, who now has three wins from his six games at the helm, is adamant that there is still much work to be done.

"We might be out of the bottom three, but it's still relegation [in terms of] points per game played and we have got to make sure we continue to lessen that gap, the quicker the better and certainly by winning three in the first six, it takes us to where we want to be going," said Allardyce.

"I said when I came here, I don't really want to be doing what the club has done over the last four years and have to win a huge amount of games in the last six or eight matches. Let's try not to get there and let's try to do it as quickly as we can."

Stoke were up against it from the moment skipper Ryan Shawcross, who had earlier been booked for a cynical foul on Steven Fletcher, was cautioned for a second time for a 47th-minute challenge on Duncan Watmore, although replays suggested he was unfortunate to see red.

However, the home side had to wait until the 82nd minute to get their noses in front when substitute Adam Johnson squared a free-kick to Patrick van Aanholt and he blasted his first league goal for the club past the helpless Jack Butland from 25 yards.

And 21-year-old Watmore, who had replaced the injured Jermain Defoe before the break, sealed the win with an equally accomplished finish three minutes later.

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