Advocaat’s not panicking, but says Sunderland still need six points for Premier League safety

Dick Advocaat
Dick Advocaat
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DICK ADVOCAAT says Sunderland still need another six points if their bid to remain in the Premier League is to be successful.

Prior to Saturday’s trip to Stoke, Advocaat revealed he was targeting six points from the final six games of the season as a realistic target to beat the drop.

It’s up to us to stay up. An away point is good

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat

But despite picking up a point at the Britannia Stadium, Advocaat believes Sunderland require a further six after wins for fellow strugglers Leicester and Hull propelled the Black Cats into the bottom three.

Suddenly, a tally of 35 points – which had been seen as the tally likely to be sufficient for Premier League survival this season – may not be enough, heading into the final five games of the campaign.

And while Advocaat is far from panicking at life in the relegation zone, he knows that the 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium has to be the start of an upturn for Sunderland.

Advocaat said: “We still have five games to go. We still need six points.

“A draw at Stoke is a good result because many big clubs don’t get that.

“We have to take that into next week (against Southampton at the Stadium of Light), make sure the commitment is there with the crowd behind us and maybe then we’ll get the chances to score.

“There is no reason to panic.

“At the end, the teams who don’t get enough points will go down.

“It’s up to us to stay up. An away point is good.”

Advocaat admits that both Hull and Leicester, who have climbed from the bottom thanks to a run of four successive top-flight victories for the first time since 1966, have shown the difference just one win can make, rather than picking up a solitary point at a time.

Sunderland have now drawn 15 games this season – just two short of equalling the Premier League record from a solitary campaign. “That (a win) can make the difference,” he added.

“That’s the reason why I was so disappointed against Crystal Palace with the way we played and how we gave the points away.

“Crystal Palace are a good team, but not a top team, in my point of view.

“They did really well against us, but you can see if you have the right commitment, they have lost their last two home games – unfortunately against teams who are also in that zone.

“But we have to do it by ourselves and we start next week against Southampton.”