Sam Allardyce fearful of ‘mammoth’ task at Sunderland

Sunderland 0 Southampton 1<br>

Sam Allardyce fearful of ‘mammoth’ task at Sunderland

The 61-year-old, who has built his reputation on stabilising and rebuilding struggling clubs, saw the Black Cats slip to a third defeat of his four-game reign and he does not accept he has plenty of time to turn things around.

“No, I haven’t, no. We are relegation favourites because we are in the bottom three and getting out of the bottom three is a long haul now. When you have got fewer points than games, as many fewer points than games as we have got, then we have got a mammoth task just to get out of the trouble we are in at the moment. There’s no point in trying to bullshit anybody: it’s going to be a long haul to get where we need to get.

“What I want to try to do is not have one of those end-of-the-season desperations that this club has become used to over the last four years where if you don’t win four out of the last six, you are going to get relegated.”

Having seen his side ship six at Everton last weekend, the Sunderland boss understandably adopted a more cautious approach against the Saints. They might have emerged with a point had Yann M’Vila not needlessly felled full-back Ryan Bertrand inside the box to hand Dusan Tadic the chance to win the game from the penalty spot 21 minutes from time.

Allardyce said: “It’s just a shame he didn’t control his emotions because he was going nowhere, he wasn’t going to harm us.” Southampton remain unbeaten away from home in the league.

Manager Ronald Koeman said: “We don’t play differently at home than we like to do away. I think that’s the best way to be consistent.”

SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Yedlin, Coates, Kaboul, Jones, M’Vila, Gomez (Defoe 74), Johnson, Toivonen (Borini 46),Watmore, Fletcher (Rodwell 70).

Subs not used: Van Aanholt, Brown, Lens, Mannone.

SOUTHAMPTON: Stekelenburg, Yoshida, Fonte, van Dijk, Bertrand, Steven Davis, Clasie (Romeu 78), Mane (Juanmi 83), Ward-Prowse, Tadic (Caulker 90), Pelle.

Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Cedric Soares, Martina, Seager.

Referee: Mike Jones

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