'Massive' win over Manchester United shows how resilient Sunderland have become, says Allardyce

Sunderland's Jan Kirchhoff went off injured
Sunderland's Jan Kirchhoff went off injured
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Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce believes the 2-1 win over Manchester United shows how 'resilient' his side have become.

The Black Cats took the lead after just three minutes at the Stadium of Light, with Wahbi Khazri's long-range free-kick from a tight angle deceiving David De Gea in the United goal.

Lee Cattermole impressed in central midfield for Sunderland

Lee Cattermole impressed in central midfield for Sunderland

Louis Van Gaal's side fought their way back into the game and eventually equalised through Anthony Martial's sublime clip over Vito Mannone at the near post.

But Lamine Kone's header, which eventually went in off the back of De Gea, sealed the three points for Sunderland.

And Allardyce was in no doubt how important the win was for his side.

"Massive," said Allardyce.

"The good thing for us is that we have two week's break now, because all those injuries have two weeks to get fit.

"We should have some of those players back to face West Ham in two weeks' time.

"They've got a well-deserved break now, a bit of warm weather training, so when they get on that plane it's gonna feel good, not only are they getting a bit of warm weather but we got three points off Man Utd – there can't be anything better to boost your confidence than that.

"We're getting better, we have folded on a couple of occasions when we've lost a goal.

"I remember Bournemouth here, we lost a goal and for 20 minutes it was really tough going that we didn't concede another one.

"We didn't and we came back and got the draw.

"So we're better, we came back and we're resilient, we were resilient enough today to limit Man Utd to very few chances indeed.

"In fact it was hardly a chance when Martial scored, it was a brilliant bit of skill, it wasn't an easy chance but he popped it in.

"If the team is better by the signings that we've made, the whole squad benefits from that. Our defence looks better with Lamine [Kone] in there.

"It looks more solid and our big problem was, and still is, not enough clean sheets.

"But we seem to be managing that better now.

"So we still focus on getting more clean sheets but we're looking defensively better as a unit."

Allardyce admitted he asked his wide men to target the inexperienced Man United full backs; Donald Love, an early sub for the injured Matteo Darmian at right-back and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson at left-back.

When asked what he told his players at half-time, he added: "Get the ball into the wide areas quicker and better, because they have two very young full-backs, who are obviously good players but very inexperienced.

"So the quality of our balls has to try and out the pressure on the full-backs with more balls to our wide men, with N'Doye on the right and Wahbi on the left and then in the end Fabio on the right and Dame went up front.

"He could have won it for us, or certainly scored for us, he was one-on-one after a great ball from Catts [Lee Cattermole]."