The Black Cats dug out a goalless draw at Arsenal to ensure their top flight status, though it remains to be seen whether Dutch coach Advocaat will extend his stay at the club.
“I think the emotion of the last few weeks and what is at stake gets to you as well,” Swedish international Seb Larsson said. “It is hard to get it out of your head and we felt it all week, so it is nice to get rid of it now because it gets you more tired, but that doesn’t matter now and we are all relieved.”
Larsson told the club’s website: “It is a massive relief to get ourselves out of the situation and obviously we are all very happy, but relief is the big word.
“We all want the same thing and we are all in it together; the fans have supported us tremendously throughout the season even though we haven’t given them much to shout about.
“Hopefully we have at least given them a half-happy summer.”
Advocaat challenged Sunderland to build on their successful survival battle next season – whether he is in charge or not. The Dutchman was in tears as the final whistle blew at Emirates Stadium but would not confirm if he had yet decided to stay on in Wearside. “I give an answer on that next week, sorry.
“If I stop, this will be the last job, and (if I continue) it will be this one. We have to be very proud of our chairman and what he is doing, but the quality was not always there, now hopefully he can start on a new set up bringing more players of quality.”