Sport Soccer

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce: Pressure on for Palace visit

Sam Allardyce was left frustrated as Sunderland lost 1-0 at West Ham
Sam Allardyce was left frustrated as Sunderland lost 1-0 at West Ham

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce admits the pressure is on ahead of Tuesday's clash with Crystal Palace.

The Black Cats missed the chance to climb out of the relegation zone when they lost 1-0 at West Ham on Saturday.

They dominated the second half but missed a host of chances to cancel out Michail Antonio's 30th-minute strike, and Allardyce says they now face a must-win showdown with the Eagles.

"We must hope that if we continue to play like that we'll get the victories we need very quickly," he said.

"We've made a massive pressure game for ourselves on Tuesday night when we play Palace at home and then it's Southampton away.

"We have to pick points up in both of those games because after that we don't play for two weeks and if the teams around us win then that distance becomes even greater and more pressure comes on us.

"The next two games we have to deliver at least four points, hopefully more, but we've put a lot of pressure on ourselves."

Antonio grabbed the winner when he cut inside Patrick van Aanolt and curled a superb shot past Vito Mannone.

It was the former Nottingham Forest winger's fifth goal in 13 games - all of which have come at home.

And Antonio hopes to keep up his Upton Park scoring streak when London rivals and title challengers Tottenham visit on Wednesday.

"It looks like I can only score here," he told the club's official website.

"Right now I'm getting goals at home, hopefully I can get some away, but the next game is at home so let's hope the form can continue.

"On Friday after training, I thought there's an opportunity for me to cut in and shoot on my left foot, so I started practising it at the end of the session. I took about 10 shots and out of the 10, I got seven in.

"There wasn't a keeper in, and if there was some of them might have been saved, but there was one on Saturday and it went in."

Press Association

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