English Premiership

Recruitment is now key for Sunderland

2016-05-12 17:00
Jermain Defoe (TEAMtalk)
Cape Town - Sunderland's close-season recruitment must be good if the club are to avoid flirting with relegation for a fifth consecutive campaign, manager Sam Allardyce said after guiding the serial strugglers to safety.

The north-east team beat Everton 3-0 on Wednesday to secure survival but pulling off a last-gasp escape has become something of a habit for them in recent years.

"This club can't be cheering and doing a lap of honour just for escaping relegation," Allardyce told reporters.

"This club has been in this position before and said it doesn't want it to happen again, that has to happen this time. The next set of recruitment is crucial."

Allardyce, who has never been relegated from the top flight as a manager, hailed the contributions of Wahbi Khazri, Lamine Kone and Jan Kirchhoff, players he signed in January to stiffen Sunderland's spine.

"We've just secured the financial side of being in the Premier League," said the 61-year-old former West Ham United, Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers boss.

"What that gives us in terms of spending power is the same as everybody else so we need to recruit like we did in January because I think the contribution of those players has been really big for this team to get out of trouble."

Sunderland's win over Everton resulted in bitter rivals Newcastle, and Norwich City, joining already-relegated Aston Villa in going down.

Allardyce's men end the campaign with a trip to Watford on Sunday.

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