Sam Allardyce insists it will only have been worth going back into football management if Sunderland stay up.
Third-bottom Cats boosted their survival hopes with the impressive 3-0 win over Norwich City at the weekend.
But with just five games remaining, Sunderland’s Premier League survival remains firmly in the balance.
Former Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham boss Allardyce returned to management in October, taking charge at the Stadium of Light after the resignation of Dick Advocaat.
And he insists he is loving his spell back in the North East.
When asked whether it was worth going back into football, Allardyce told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “It will only be worth it if we stay in the Premier League.
“It’s a fantastic club, the supporters are outstanding and they’ve stuck by the team all the way through. The facilities are second to none.
“They’re so passionate about football, and I’m a football man, so I’m very happy here.
“But I’ll only be really happy, I’ll only be satisfied, if we’re still playing in the Premier League next season.”
Victory over Norwich City ended a run of six games without a win.
“It was coming for a while that we were going to win a game,” added the Black Cats boss.
“We’ve let so many games slip from winning positions, and this one we finally clinched, so hopefully that will give the players the confidence to go on and win more matches.”
Sunderland host Arsenal at the Stadium of Light this weekend before a trip to the Britannia Stadium to face Stoke City - who were thumped 4-0 by Spurs last night.
Allardyce added: “Knowing Mark Hughes as I do, that performance will have hurt him deeply.
“Their coaching staff will be straight in and saying how unacceptable it was.
“Tottenham are superb, with an excellent goalscorer and they have mastered the art of defending too - that is why they are where they are.
“We are obviously not quite as good as Tottenham but if we get the chance to hit them on the break then hopefully we can again get a result.
“But we are concentrating on Arsenal first.”
Allardyce was also asked for his views on the title race, with Tottenham Hotspur pushing league leaders Leicester City all the way after their win over Stoke.
He added: “I thought Jamie Vardy was unfortunate [with the red card against West Ham United]. The point could be very valuable to Leicester in the end though.
“It is theirs to lose, they seem to be holding their nerve and their clean sheet record has been very good recently.
“Tottenham are playing brilliantly but I can’t see them pipping them at the moment.
“As much as I love Tottenham the way they are playing I really do want Leicester to win it.”