Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce believes the first five games of next season will be the most important as the Black Cats look to avoid a run of bad starts to each season.
They haven’t won a Premier League game before October since 2013 and they haven’t won a league game in August since 2010 and Big Sam is keen on changing that.
Starting like that next season will no doubt mean the Wearsiders will have to prepare for, yet another, relegation battle, but a turnaround in form at the end of last season could be a change in mentality.
Allardyce determined not to start badly
The Black Cats’ boss is thriving to ensure that his side don’t go through another relegation battle, and stated that the start to the season is where they need to change their form.
“I wouldn’t want to go through what I went through when I first got here,” he said.
Sunderland will be aiming to make the most out of the first five games of the season, says Allardyce, who was brought in last October after a dismal start to last season.
He is determined to win two or three of those games, despite what happens in the transfer window because it will become the “inevitable relegation struggle”.
He added: “If you do not win any of the first five, what a struggle it becomes after that.”
Summer targets key to successful start
Allardyce will be able to work with his players from the start of pre-season, something which he didn’t have last season, but he also has the power of bringing players in this summer.
The Black Cats are linked heavily with Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal, and Big Sam has openly admitted that he will be looking in Ligue 1 for more gems.
Boss pleased with Yedlin’s season
Fabio Borini has recently been cut from Italy’s Euro 2016 squad, however, Emanuele Giaccherini is expected to be in the final 23, who are set to jet off to France this summer.
DeAndre Yedlin has linked up with the United States side, who are about to begin the Copa America next month, and Jurgen Klinsmann has been full of praise for his season.
He joined the Black Cats from Tottenham Hotspur on a season-long loan and after a shaky first-half to the season, Klinsmann has praised the defender for how much he has learned.
“I think for DeAndre, this was a big learning year and made him stronger, made him better and hopefully also more confident,” said the United States boss.
Klinsmann believes Yedlin couldn’t have “gone any better” as Sunderland survived relegation, and that will give him a “big confidence boost” ahead of the Copa America.