Wise Men Say: Could a week in the sun result in Sunderland’s survival?

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I’m sure I speak for everyone here, when I say that 12 days without SAFC is awful.

Yes, they’ve been known to regularly destroy our weekends, and they even sometimes manage to make you feel physically sick.

But ask yourself, is life really worth living without them?

As we’ve been going about normal everyday life over the last couple of weeks here in the North East, Big Sam decided to treat the lads and staff to a trip over to Dubai for his annual ‘warm weather training break’.

The idea behind this trip was to hopefully improve the physical output of the players in the remaining fixtures, as well as giving them a bit of time to relax in the sun away from the stressful pressure pot that is the Premier League.

Sounds nice doesn’t it?

Personally, I’d go as far to say that the next 12 fixtures are the most important that the club have had in a long time due to the financial rewards available for teams that beat the drop this season.

It’s absolutely imperative that we stay in the league.

If the recent trip away to Dubai yields an extra 5-10% improvement in the overall performance of the squad until the end of the season, Allardyce could well have played an absolute blinder here in taking the squad away.

Fine margins are everything, especially at this stage in the season.

West Ham are next up for the lads tomorrow, and a return to the Boleyn Ground awaits Mr Allardyce just nine months after he left the Hammers.

Since he left, the club have continued to progress under Slaven Bilić, and with them currently sitting in seventh place with 40 points on the board, it’s a job well done.

A tough test awaits.

Fortunately for us, however, there could arguably be no better time to play West Ham.

Coming off the back of a week in Dubai, and a massively surprising, yet much needed four points against Manchester City, Liverpool, and Manchester United in our last three games, our squad should be raring to go.

There’s no doubt about it, if we perform like we did against Manchester City and Manchester United in particular, there’s a great chance of us getting a result from this game.

We were excellent.

Big Sam said we needed six wins before the Man United game to stay up.

Imagine him coming out after tomorrow’s game and saying we need four!

* The Wise Men Say podcast is available from every Monday, with SAFC debate from a variety of guests and post-match reactio. You can stream it direct from wisemensay.co.uk or subscribe to it on iTunes