Sunderland failed to pick up all three points in their 1-1 draw against Stoke City, allowing rivals Newcastle United to leap frog them in the league table, sending the Black Cats back into the relegation zone after a poor performance. It was disappointing for the club to see themselves back in the relegation zone but they will be even more frustrated with the performance which was lacking in fight, especially given how much is at stake with every game.
The occasion may have gotten too the squad for the first time as Sam Allardyce admitted that his side, "Looked nervous, more than we've ever before" which might be concerning news with so little time left this season. Big Sam believes that his side could have been feeling the, "Pressure" due to the circumstances which may have caused them to "Give far too many easy balls away."
Given the way the result could have gone, Allardyce ended up being "Happy to accept a point" as he saw it as "A point gained rather than two points lost" due to the way they secured the draw with a late penalty, comfortably scored by Jermaine Defoe.
The Sunderland boss felt that the decision to award the penalty was one that nobody could, "Complain about" as he felt it was a clear decision that the referee got correct, providing Sunderland with a get out of jail free card. Allardyce then hailed his top scorer claiming that without his goals and contributions, "We would probably have already been relegated."
A penalty played a huge factor in Newcastle's victory over Crystal Palace too, with Palace missing from 12 yards, failing to draw level in the game. However Allardyce isn't spending his time concentrating on matters that are "Not in our control" and remains confident of survival. With three games remaining, there is plenty to play for if they can hold their nerves.