Sam Allardyce looking for Sunderland to start next season on the front foot
Sam Allardyce hopes there will be a rollover effect at the start of next season after Sunderland's strong end to this campaign.
A 2-2 draw against Watford left the Black Cats with just one defeat from their final 11 games of the campaign.
Since the turn of the year, Sunderland have registered 27 points form their 19 Premier League outings and Allardyce hopes the confidence levels stemming from that run will carry over when the Black Cats start all over again in August.
“I think confidence into next season is definitely important, all the players that come back have a better spring and stride in their step,” said Allardyce.
“We have averaged two points per game over the last six games. That is top six stuff.
“If we start as we left off, then we gain that confidence and try to have a better season than this one.
“To think we got 12 points from six games and only finished fourth bottom is a pretty miraculous situation.”
The hope among Sunderland fans is that Allardyce can finally fulfil the long-held objective of Premier League stability after four successive near-brushes with relegation.
It’s a view shared by both Allardyce and chairman Ellis Short, although the Sunderland boss has stressed that it is a gradual process and acknowledges that much will depend on the summer’s spending spree.
He added: “Stability only comes by results, results keep you in a job or not. Nothing else.
“Our recruitment was very good in January. The next set has to be just as good as that one, it was a big part in making us better.
“If we get that much better we build more stability, we feel more confident about our position in the Premier League.
“As the seasons go by and you continue to grow the squad, spending well and bringing in better and better players, and the academy players, then you grow as a Premier League side and have that stability to see where you can finish.
“Then you start to think about can we reach a cup final, one day will we have enough of a squad to get into Europe?
“Those are the long-term dreams, short term is bringing more stability.”