Sam Allardyce: Sunderland need to start picking up draws to ease pressure

Sam Allardyce.  Picture by FRANK REID
Sam Allardyce. Picture by FRANK REID
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Sunderland need to start turning defeats into draws if they are to ease the pressure in the relegation battle, believes Sam Allardyce.

The Black Cats are yet to finish all-square under Allardyce’s tenure, with five wins and nine defeats from his 14 games at the helm.

We should have drawn three or four at the very least and that makes life so much easier for the players

Sam Allardyce

Sunderland’s tally of 17 draws last season was the highest in the Premier League and was a key reason behind the club’s struggles at the wrong end of the table after a paltry tally of just seven victories.

But Allardyce says Sunderland need to put some draws on the board to complement their wins and reduce the tension heading into each game.

Last weekend’s defeat at Spurs was a case in point, with the 4-1 loss turning the heat up on Saturday’s visit of fellow strugglers Bournemouth.

“We’re still losing when we should be picking up draws,” said Allardyce.

“We should have drawn three or four at the very least and that makes life so much easier for the players.

“Every time we go into a game after a loss, everyone thinks it’s a must-win.

“That becomes greater and greater pressure, and when you get that at this level, more and more mistakes occur.

“We’ve got to start making sure that when we come off the field, we’ve got a result more often than not.

“At the moment, we win one week, then we lose, and lose again.

“Those points from the draws are very, very important.”

Allardyce had to take a share of the blame for Sunderland coming away empty-handed from White Hart Lane after his changes back-fired spectacularly during the last half-hour.

Yet Sunderland’s players were again guilty of a horrifying concentration lapse in the first half after Spurs levelled within 90 seconds of going behind.

It was a similar story at Swansea last week, when the hosts took the lead just two minutes after being reduced to 10 men.

When asked about those concentration lapses, Allardyce said: “There’s enough experience out there to sort it out.

“We’ve not got young lads who have never seen it before.

“But maybe that little bit of fear, that little bit of tension is making them too tight when they should be more releaxed to make the right decisions.”