Sam Allardyce stresses need for Sunderland success against Leicester
Sam Allardyce says nothing but victory will do when relegation-threatened Sunderland host title-chasing Leicester this weekend.
Another season of frustration at the Stadium of Light has brought with it another battle to beat the drop with things looking increasingly perilous as the season winds down.
Sunderland are 18th in the standings and four points off 17th-placed Norwich, albeit with a game in hand on Alex Neil's men.
Allardyce takes his side to Carrow Road for a crunch encounter on April 16, but first is the small matter of hosting Leicester on Sunday.
"With seven games to go we have a game in hand and we have to play Norwich," the Black Cats boss told his club's official website.
"The pressure on us increases but I just hope we continue to handle that pressure like we did on Saturday, and see it through to getting the victories we need.
"When we play Leicester it is a victory we need against a team at the top of the table, and then when we come up against Norwich it is probably a win we need again."
The Leicester match may not have been quite as crucial was it not for the inspired form of Ben Foster last weekend.
The West Brom goalkeeper's exceptional display forced Sunderland to settle for a 0-0 draw and left Allardyce to reflect on one of the most frustrating results in his career.
"We took the game to West Brom, particularly in the second half, with composure, ability, style and the right application," he said.
"There was nothing desperate, we just kept playing and searching but when we finally got chance after chance we couldn't convert one past Ben Foster.
"I've never seen a team create as many chances and cope with the pressure we were under on Saturday. Every man was outstanding."