Sam Allardyce hails 'outstanding' achievement as Sunderland secure Premier League status
Sam Allardyce has hailed the 'outstanding' achievement of his Sunderland side in securing their Premier League status with a game to go.
And the beaming Sunderland boss has put it down to a key January transfer window - with Lamine Kone, Jan Kirchhoff and Wahbi Khazri added to the squad.
The 3-0 victory over a poor Everton side at the Stadium of Light secured a vital three points which sealed their status as a top flight side and relegated Newcastle United and Norwich City.
Goals from Patrick van Aanholt and a Lamine Kone brace sealed the win and the £100million bumper television deal next season.
Allardyce said: "It feels outstanding!
"From the grim and dark days of December and five defeats on the trot.
"It rang home to me that we had to get in the market, get some players out and clear some wages.
"It would be the only chance we had to survive and it has proved to be the case.
"Our performances and results have continued and have got us clear of relegation with a game to go.
"The last two games have been a great joy and satisfaction.
"We had to settle the nerves and did that with three goals.
"The two goals in succession was a magnificent effort to release the tension and the effort and the flow of the game got better and the chances were easier to get.
"We missed a lot of them but three outstanding set plays, 3-0 and a clean sheet.
"Three games into my career here it was Everton 6 Sunderland 2, now it is Sunderland 3 Everton 0 and that comparison shows how far we have come since the turn of the year."
Allardyce led the celebrations at the final whistle as the players took part in a lap of appreciation in front of a jubilant home support.
"It is a wonderful feeling of appreciation," added Allardyce, whose name was sung throughout the match.
"That is why we are in the game. We are working in a football club for the supporters, they will always be here and support the club.
"While in charge your responsibility is to entertain and satisfy them.
"And to support the team in the right way and I have got great admiration for the fans for the amount of encouragement they have shown in a society that is less patient than ever before.
"In the last two home games, certainly."
Big Sam released his autobiography shortly before taking charge at the Stadium of Light.
And he should be expecting a call from his publishers to add another chapter following a fairytale ending to his first season in charge at Sunderland.
Allardyce said: "I don't know if they will ring me up and ask for an extra chapter - it could be another or six!
"It has been very testing, on the field and off it.
"But for me, I have always just tried to focus on the players and to not let the outside influences affect me or the players.
"In the end we have come through stronger as a team."