Man management was the key to Sunderland's survival, says Allardyce

The Black Cats boss believes the relationship with his players is crucial.

Man management was the key to Sunderland's survival, says Allardyce
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has said that his man-management skills were a major factor in Sunderland's survival. | Photo: Stu Foster / Getty Images

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has said that his man-management was the most important factor and biggest change that he brought to the Stadium of Light. 

Big factor 

Allardyce arrived on Wearside back in October after the dismissal of former coach Dick Advocaat and brought a new, scientific approach to their game. That, combined with some excellent recruitment in January, eventually led to their survival in the English top flight at the expense of bitter rivals Newcastle United. 

However the 61-year-old believes that his handling of individual players was the most important factor in the club securing their 10th consecutive English top-flight season. 

Allardyce told the the Chronicle that man-management is the "biggest part of the job" in modern football and that it is about your "guidance and determination," "belief," and "desire to achieve certain goals" that prove crucial. 

He continued, saying if you "manage" the staff and players and make "tough decisions" then you hope to "earn the respect" of them. He also said that he tries to make the club atmosphere "warm and inviting" and that the man-management has "always been good" for him and has "worked quite well." 

Above: current Sunderland AFC Sam Allardyce and Ivan Campo during their time with Bolton Wanderers | Photo: Chris Young / Getty Images
Current Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce and Ivan Campo during their time with Bolton Wanderers. | Photo: Chris Young / Getty Images

Taught me well 

This season has seen the vast improvement in a number of players, with the likes of Patrick van Aanholt, DeAndre Yedlin, Vito Mannone and Jermain Defoe all seeing benefits from their time spent with Allardyce. 

However, a ringing endorsement has come from higher powers, with Bolton Wanderers and Real Madrid legend Ivan Campo stating that the coach taught him everything he knows during his time with the Lancashire club. 

He told 888sport that Allardyce taught him "everything" he knows after he made his move from Spain to England. The defender says his manager also taught him how to "adjust to life" to the English top-flight. 

Campo continued, saying that Allardyce is a "great coach" and that his man-management was the "reason" he was able to "attract the top talent" - like legendary defender Fernando Hierro - to the Reebok Stadium.