Sam Allardyce eyes strong start to next season

'Big' Sam Allardyce basks in the Mackem glory of having led Sunderland to survival in the Premier League with a 3-0 victory over Everton, following in the footsteps of messrs Di Canio, Poyet and Advocaat
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Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce sets his sights on carrying his side's end-of-season form over into the 2016-17 campaign.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has already set his sights on making a strong start to next season following their Premier League survival.

The Black Cats once again produced some impressive late-season form to avoid the drop this term, but in recent campaigns have got off to a slow start the following year and ended up sacking the manager.

However, Allardyce believes that the confidence gained from losing just one of their last 11 matches will carry over into next season.

"The confidence will go into next season. All the players can come back with a spring in their step," he told reporters.

"We averaged two points per game over the last six games, that is top six stuff in the league.

"To think we had 12 points in six games, and only finished fourth from bottom, is a pretty miraculous total. Like next season, let's get 12 points in the first six games, not the last."

Sunderland finished their season with a 2-2 draw against Watford at Vicarage Road this afternoon.

Jermain Defoe celebrates with Patrick van Aanholt during the Premier League game between Southampton and Sunderland on March 5, 2016
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