Sam Allardyce took charge of Sunderland in October with the club 19th on the table and looking lifeless, destined for relegation.
But Big Sam has never been relegated from the Premier League before and that mark still stands as Sunderland have taken points from nine of their last ten matches, securing safety with a win over Everton on Wednesday.
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After celebrating on Wednesday night, Allardyce was back to business on Thursday, already looking to improve the squad ahead of next season. The boss said he plans on meeting with Sunderland’s American owner Ellis Short in the next few days to discuss the direction of the club moving forward.
I’m only just overcoming a hangover. But my next meeting with Ellis will be critical as to whether we struggle again next season or not. The big thing is the new players we bring in and how we can improve the team.
We have to move away from the fact that we’re all so happy at being heroes for surviving. We have to think much bigger, have much more ambition.
What happens between me and Ellis Short will determine where the future lies and how successful we’re going to be. I have a very good working relationship with him which is very, very important. He only wants the best for this football club. His desire is to make this football club more successful than it has been in recent years. He’s been searching for something different for so many years and hasn’t found it. That’s why there’s been so many changes. But those changes haven’t solved the problem – hopefully I can.
Over the past four Premier League seasons, Sunderland has finished 17th, 14th, 16th, and 17th. Allardyce is the club’s sixth manager since 2011 as Ellis Short has been unable to maintain stability at the Stadium of Light.
With Allardyce at the helm, Sunderland finally have a proven Premier League manager who knows what it takes to succeed and stay in the top flight. Short’s reluctance to spend in the transfer windows has hindered the club’s progress, but Big Sam will be hoping his work this season has earned the owner’s trust to open his checkbook come summer.