Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, Rowell outlined his opinion that Sunderland must not ease up in their fight for survival having defeated Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby.
The former midfielder said: “Dick Advocaat will be desperate to avoid an ‘after the lord mayor’s show’ against [Crystal] Palace, and will be demanding his team continue their upwards momentum, as there’s still plenty of work to be done if the scrap against relegation is going to be a successful one.”
A Jermain Defoe long-range strike was the difference maker during the victory over Newcastle, with the result meaning Sunderland moved further away from the relegation places as Burnley drew with Tottenham Hotspur.
It was Advocaat’s first win since being appointed head coach at the Stadium of Light, and the performance showed major improvements from the latter stages of Gus Poyet’s reign in charge.
Although they were unfortunate to not claim at least a draw in the defeat to West Ham, the victory over their North East rivals was well deserved, it is no surprise that the Black Cats are now being tipped to fight off relegation.
However, Newcastle have been in a dreadful run of form themselves, and defeating the Magpies was a much easier task than Advocaat will face this weekend, as Crystal Palace head to Wearside.
The Eagles have enjoyed a great rejuvenation under Alan Pardew, and after defeating Manchester City on Monday their Premier League status is all-but secured.
The Black Cats still have a lot of work they need to do to guarantee their top flight status, and making sure they repeat their derby performance against Palace could be the next step on the road to survival.