Sam Allardyce responds when asked whether Sunderland is his toughest job yet

Sunderland are currently five points adrift of safety, and still have not won a Premier League match all season.

Sam Allardyce has told the Sunderland Echo that it is too early to tell whether he has been handed the toughest assignment of his managerial career at the Stadium of Light.

Allardyce has taken over a Sunderland squad which is low on confidence, and one still looking for its first Premier League win of the season.

However, the 60-year-old boss has faced similar tasks in keeping teams up before, and he insists that he is now trying to instil a winning mentality into the Black Cats' ranks. 

“It’s a bit early to tell," he admitted. “I didn’t think I’d be back in this early, but if I was going to come back into the Premier League, it was going to be a club that was struggling.

“So why not do it sooner rather than later, when there’s 30 games to save them - 29 now after unfortunately losing the first one.

“It’s up to me to try to impose a winning mentality on the whole football club, not just the players, but the staff behind them.

“They’re very important today in terms of pushing the players forward on a daily basis.”

Allardyce took charge of his first Sunderland match last weekend, and he sparked an improvement in their performance levels.

The Wearsiders were more solid at the back against West Bromwich Albion, but they still couldn't avoid a defeat.

The Baggies netted a solitary goal through Saido Berahino, and Sunderland's struggles in the final third were highlighted again as they failed to get themselves back into the match.

The Black Cats' next game comes against Newcastle United, and they will be desperate to get the three points against their local rivals as they endeavour to get their season up and running. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch