Sam Allardyce admits he’s relieved that Sunderland have emerged from the festive programme without any serious casualties.
Last weekend’s trip to Spurs was Sunderland’s sixth game in the space of three weeks, with the Black Cats collecting six points from the five Premier League outings in that spell.
Yet there were no fresh injury worries for Allardyce from that hectic period, with Younes Kaboul and Seb Larsson still the only first-teamers on the treatment table.
Kaboul and Larsson are expected to the return to the fold next month, and Allardyce is pleased that Sunderland’s survival bid has not been derailed by injuries.
He told the Echo: “From our point of view, we’ve managed our game period very, very well.
“We’d hoped for more results, but we’ve come through it with no more injuries.
“That’s down to the backroom staff getting it right.
“You have to look at the contributions of recovery, fluid, nutrition, supplements, massage and ice baths.
“All those things have helped the players recover for them to be able to perform in a very hectic period and not pick up any more injuries.”
The turn of the year has also proved to be a frenzied period for Allardyce, as he balances Sunderland’s bid to remain in the Premier League with bringing in the new signings needed to boost the Black Cats’ survival bid.
But Allardyce insists he is now able to manage those competing demands far better than earlier in his career.
“I’ve managed it for a long time now. I don’t say I like it and I ever get used to it,” he added.
“But I manage it a lot better.
“And I look at it in the light that we have to do our best to do the business we do, and then we’ve got what we’ve got when the window closes and we’ve got to get on with it.
“We want to increase the level of performance of the players to be more consistent and better than they’ve already been.”