Swansea win the perfect tonic for weary Sunderland
Sam Allardyce believes three points at Swansea has been the best tonic to ease Sunderland's tired legs for the trip to Spurs.
Sunderland face their second away game in the space of 72 hours tomorrow lunchtime, when the Black Cats look to build on back-to-back Premier League wins over fellow strugglers Aston Villa and Swansea, by adding to their points tally at fourth placed Spurs.
Allardyce’s men travelled to London yesterday after a recovery session at their base in Cardiff and will participate in light training at QPR today, before the players face a video analysis session on the Spurs squad.
But while Sunderland’s medical team have been understandably cautious over fatigue levels, Allardyce believes the players will feel much fresher after the 4-2 victory at Swansea moved the Black Cats to within a point of the safety mark.
Allardyce said: “Placebo-wise, we feel good now.
“We don’t feel as tired after we’ve won, as we would have done if we’d lost.
“We’ve got a bit of training today at QPR and the rest of it will be visually and tactically to look at on their iPads.
“We’ve got some very tired legs that have to reinvigorate themselves.
“But hopefully with that placebo affect, the brain will be telling them that they’re okay.”
The win at Swansea was Sunderland’s second in the space of a fortnight against one of their relegation rivals after the 3-1 victory over Aston Villa earlier this month.
That platform has eased the pressure on a trip to White Hart Lane, where Allardyce admits anything would be a “bonus” for third bottom Sunderland.
“If we win at Tottenham, it wouldn’t be as big as winning at Swansea,” he said.
“The games against the teams in and around you are the ones that are the real six pointers.
“Any point against Tottenham is a bonus. It’s the icing on the cake.
“Swansea and Villa were the big ones and we’re showing some mettle now because people tell me last season that the team went under in these games.
“We’ve done back to back wins to close the gap.
“If we can manage a few draws, then we can chip away at the points total further.”
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has the luxury of being able to shuffle his pack, with a deep squad that has coped with the demands of the Europa League this season.
However, Spurs have showed themselves to be vulnerable on their own patch over recent weeks.
Spurs suffered a late 1-0 defeat against second placed Leicester on Wednesday night, while second bottom Newcastle triumphed at White Hart Lane last month.
“Tottenham now, with the squad they’ve got, are looking very healthy and productive, no matter what competition they play in,” added Allardyce.
“They seem to have, for me, 23-24 very good players who can go in the team, come out and go back in again.
“And they still seem to produce results in all competitions.
“Whatever team faces us tomorrow, it’ll be very difficult to beat.
“Our hope comes from Newcastle beating them recently on their own ground.
“Occasionally, they’ve shown at home that they’ve been caught out.
“I managed to catch them out there a couple of times at West Ham, as Newcastle did.
“Let’s hope we can do something like that tomorrow.”