John Carver says his heart sank when Sunderland appointed Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce Press Conference Disappointed 12/02/2014

The former Newcastle United boss is a big fan of Sam Allardyce

Former Newcastle United manager John Carver says his heart sank when he heard the news that Sunderland had appointed Sam Allardyce as their new manager, the Daily Star report.

New Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is widely regarded as one of the best in the business at preserving Premier League football, beating off relegation time and time again.

The Black Cats find themselves in an alarming position at the foot of the table, winless in nine and heading into a derby clash with Newcastle with little confidence and plenty of weaknesses.

However, the Magpies have a poor recent record against their rivals and with Sam Allardyce at the helm, former boss Carver believes Sunderland will be fired up and later able to beat the drop.

“My heart sank," Carver said on hearing of Sam Allardyce’s appointment. "Big Sam is the Premier League's No. 1 firefighter and his appointment is just what Sunderland needed.”

"I've never worked with him but I have huge respect for the man and his methods. He'll have Sunderland fired up and I'm sure there's a trick or two up his sleeve."

On the derby, he added: "It's a long time since Newcastle went into a derby on the back of a win and that could make all the difference.”

"Mind you, whatever the result - and obviously I'm desperate for an away win - I still have a feeling that with Sam at the helm, Sunderland will stay up."

Relegation candidates:

With many now predicting Sunderland to avoid the drop owing to Allardyce’s expertise, one has to wonder which three teams will suffer relegation at the end of the season.

Newcastle United haven’t begun the season well either, yet there is plenty of quality in that squad and their recent 6-2 win over Norwich City is proof of the attacking talent available to Steve McClaren.

Aston Villa are also struggling, yet boss Tim Sherwood saved them last season and has an able squad at his disposal following their big summer outlay on new signings.

The promoted trio from the Championship are always vulnerable to make a quick return, yet Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich have fared well so far and none look like certain relegation candidates.

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