Sam Allardyce: Why big January changes at Sunderland are a calculated gamble

Sam Allardyce admits it's a gamble to have made such wholesale changes to the Sunderland squad in this transfer window.
Lamine KoneLamine Kone
Lamine Kone

Sunderland are still hoping to add to their ranks with less than 48 hours before the transfer deadline, despite the Black Cats completing the £9million signing of Wahbi Khazri.

It has been a busy month for Sunderland with six senior players leaving the club, while Dame N'Doye, Jan Kirchhoff, Steve Harper and Lamine Kone have arrived, and Khazri joining from Bordeaux.

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When he first took charge at the Stadium of Light, Allardyce had initially hoped to limit Sunderland's January spending to a couple of fresh faces.

But with Sunderland remaining engulfed in the thick of the relegation dogfight, Allardyce felt he had to take the chance to dramatically shuffle his pack.

Allardyce said: "It's a calculated risk.

"I said many times when I came that I hoped I didn't have to be too active in January.

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"I wanted this squad of players to prove Dick (Advocaat) wrong.

"All the players on their bathroom mirror should have 'Dick said we're not good enough' as a motivation tool for every time they wake up in the morning.

"They should look at that and think 'I'm going to prove you wrong'.

"But at the moment, they haven't done that. They're there.

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"At the end of the day, it's all about self motivation, which is one of the biggest things for me.

"I'm not criticising Dick Advocaat, he's had a fantastic career and that was his opinion.

"He'd worked with the team and he was entitled to that opinion.

"But I want the team to prove him wrong, which was what I wanted to do when I first came. I still do."