Sam Allardyce hails 'massive' result after Sunderland beat Norwich City to boost survival hopes
Sunderland's survival hopes have been handed a major boost by the 3-0 win at Norwich City - and boss Sam Allardyce has heaped praise on his players.
Goals from Fabio Borini, Jermain Defoe and sub Duncan Watmore sealed a precious three points at Carrow Road - with Sunderland now just a point behind the Canaries.
And Allardyce was delighted to see his players cope with the pressure of the relegation battle, with Sunderland securing only their seventh league win of the campaign.
The result also meant a six-goal swing in goal difference in Sunderland's favour, with the Black Cats now on -18 and Norwich -25.
Allardyce said: "Dealing with the pressure paid off, coping with the pressure of the position we are in and playing away from home.
"We coped with it better than them and our clinical finishing at the right time has put the game to bed.
"Our defending was superb, everything was right for us. We have played better than that but the most important thing was the result.
"To get 3-0 is a massive result and massive performance from the lads.
"It gives us a lot more hope. The goal difference could be a factor, with only five games to go.
"If we are sat here now and somebody said you'd stay up on goal difference I would take that!
"We will of course look to get as many points as possible from the next five games. We should get a lot of confidence from this heading into Arsenal next week.
"This weekend, we can relax and enjoy ourselves a bit more."
Allardyce also hailed the performance of sub Watmore, who came on at half-time in place of Wahbi Khazri.
He added: "A clean sheet was the first thing I asked for, from now until the end of the season. That will keep us up.
"We scored three and the three front men scored, which is nice.
"Duncan came back from a long injury and gives us an alternative - the Roadrunner! Counter attacking football suits him.
"Haven't been out so long, the composure he showed was brilliant.
"He'd only trained with us for four days and I am pleased to see him back and scoring."