And another two week break has allowed Allardyce and his men to reflect. The Sunderland boss has rued missed opportunities has he saw his team concede late goals to Southampton and Newcastle, meaning they picked up just two points rather than six.
In order to turn those draws into wins Allardyce is fully aware that his team must tighten up defensively.
Turning draws into wins
Allardyce told safc.com, “We could have made life a lot easier for ourselves had we beaten Southampton and Newcastle."
He added, “We should have done and I can only hope that we turn excellent performance like the one on Sunday into wins.”
Allardyce described his team as being “stronger” performance-wise, and stronger since the turn of the year, stating that his side are not one which “looks like being beat”. But has admitted that his players must lean to “turn draws into victories”.
Must tighten up at the back
The Sunderland boss also vented his frustration at his side’s lack of ability to hold a 1-0 lead. He added, “At the moment one goal can’t win us three points – we’ve gone so long without a clean sheet." The manager continued, "We’ve ultimately slipped up in the last two games and its cost us two victories."
Allardyce concluded, “Four points have slipped by us so it’s made our plight even more difficult going into the final eight games.”
Sunderland’s last clean sheet came against Stoke in November, Sunderland ran out 2-0 winners over the Potters thanks to goals from Jermain Defoe and Duncan Watmore.
As Sunderland are fighting for Premier League survival they must find their way defensively, and fast. The Wearsiders are vying with Newcastle, Norwich, Swansea and Crystal Palace to stay in the league.