Former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder Julio Arca has had his say on the seemingly annual relegation battle for Sunderland, one that he says will yet again result in the Black Cats staying in the Premier League.
The 35-year old, who spent six years at Sunderland as well as seven years at Middlesbrough, believes that the former have been "playing well" recently which has been a result of "confidence getting higher".
Arca added that a few weeks ago fans and pundits alike will have looked at certain games and written Sunderland off, whereas now "they look like they can get points anywhere".
Commenting on manager Sam Allardyce, the Argentine said that he knew the former Bolton boss would "sort the basics out" as well as correct the clubs failures in recent transfer windows by purchasing quality players to improve the squad, something that "he did in January."
Although he retired from professional football in 2013 due to injury, Arca now plies his trade for semi-professional side South Shields in Division Two of the Northern League, where they currently lead by six points. In addition to this, he is a member of Sunderland's youth coaching staff, a position that he has occupied since July last year.
"I think Sunderland are going to do it", Arca told The Chronicle, adding that January signings including the ever-impressive Jan Kirchhoff would "hopefully help Sunderland stay up."
Arca also stated that he hopes Allardyce will "make the team solid" next season if they remain in the top-flight, going on to say that he thinks Allardyce could sign "four, five or six players" in the summer.
Sunderland will face off against fellow strugglers and fierce rivals Newcastle United on Sunday, as the club look to make it seven wins in a row against the Magpies, who gained a new face at the helm in former Real Madrid man Rafa Benitez last week.