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SEASON SNAPSHOT: Big Sam, Defoe save Sunderland by skin of their teeth

Sunderland pulled off a minor miracle by avoiding relegation in 2015/16.

Under Dick Advocaat, the Black Cats failed to win in their opening eight matches and things did not get much better under Sam Allardyce, winning just three of their next 11.

But a late-season run, which saw the Wearsiders lose twice from early February, enabled them at least another top flight campaign under 'Big Sam'.

Sunderland were at times hapless in the first half of the season but Allardyce was able to instil some steely resolve while promoting attacking football which was finished off by Jermain Defoe.

The veteran striker provided 11 of his 15 goals after the turn of the year, guiding the Black Cats to a 17th-placed finish, at the expense of Tyne-Wear rivals Newcastle United.

Now that's a joyous climax to a campaign!


BLACK CATS SNAPSHOT

POSITION: 17th

WIN-DRAW-LOSS RECORD: 9-12-17

POINTS: 39

GOALS FOR-AGAINST: 48-62


SUNDERLAND'S TOP 3

SCORERS:Jermain Defoe 15, Patrick van Aanholt 6, Fabio Borini 5

ASSISTS: Glen Johnson, Yann M'Vila both 6, Patrick van Aanholt, Jeremain Lens both 4

CLEAN SHEETS (leader): Vito Mannone 4

YELLOW CARDS:Lee Cattermole, Billy Jones both 8, Fabio Borini 6

RED CARDS: Younes Kaboul, Jeremain Lens both 1

EA SPORTS Player Performance Index:Jermain Defoe 595, Patrick van Aanholt 369, Yann M'Vila 363


TRIBAL'S TOP BOY

Jermain Defoe


TWITTER TALK


FROM THE BOSS

“You go back to November with Everton beating us 6-2 and it shows you how far we've come. From January onwards, we've been a team.

"Yes, I am staying, I hope so!

“Our signings in January have proved crucial and now the next set of recruitment over the summer is just as important. This club can't be cheering and doing a lap of honour just for escaping from relegation."

- Sam Allardyce, May 2016


STAT STORY
*Thanks to Opta

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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