Wednesday 21 February 2018

Allardyce is left frustrated

Sunderland 0-0 West Brom

West Brom manager Tony Pulis and Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce look on. Photo: Reuters / Ed Sykes
West Brom manager Tony Pulis and Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce look on. Photo: Reuters / Ed Sykes
Sunderland's Dame N'Doye in action with West Brom's James Chester. Photo: Reuters
West Brom's Saido Berahino in action with Sunderland's DeAndre Yedlin. Photo: Reuters
West Brom's Craig Gardner. Photo: Reuters

Damian Spellman

Sam Allardyce has set Sunderland the target of derailing Leicester's Premier League title charge in order to rekindle their hopes of avoiding the drop.

The Foxes head for the Stadium of Light next Sunday with their hosts sitting four points adrift of safety at the foot of the table.

Allardyce was left hugely frustrated after his side kept a first clean sheet in 18 attempts in all competitions, but failed to take any of the plethora of chances they created in a fourth straight draw.

Asked how he saw the table now, he said: "Well, we have got to beat Leicester next week and then we have got Norwich to come, so the closer we get points-wise to Norwich, the bigger the game it's going to be. We can't afford to be any further away."

Sunderland might have collected the victory they so desperately need had leading scorer Jermain Defoe had his shooting boots - or more accurately, his head - on. Or had Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster not been in such fine form.

Foster made fine saves from Lee Cattermole and Jan Kirchhoff, two from Fabio Borini and at the death, kept out Defoe's 89th-minute strike with his foot on a day when another priceless two points went begging.

"I don't know what else we can do, I don't know what I can say," said Allardyce. "We have had, I think without any question, the best performance for 90 minutes I have had since I have been here. Unfortunately there was a guy in the goal who stopped us scoring two or three goals today, and when we finally thought the gods were looking upon us to score one, we were offside, so it's been a hugely frustrating afternoon."

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