Martin Keown suggests a Sunderland worry Sam Allardyce will have deep down

Sunderland Stadium of Light

The pundit has been discussing the Sunderland boss.

Martin Keown believes Sunderland head coach Sam Allardyce may be worried about the quality of his squad 'deep down,' according to his regular 'Tackle Keown' column in the Daily Mail.

Indeed, Keown feels Sunderland's season starts now and that too much significance cannot be placed on a 3-0 win over Newcastle United.

And he thinks Big Sam may have serious reservations about whether he can keep his side in the Premier League this time around, especially considering the quality - and perhaps lack of depth - of the squad available to him at the Stadium of Light.

Keown told the Mail: "Yes, winning it is great for confidence but, for Sunderland, their season starts now. They have to travel to Everton on Sunday, which will be a really difficult game. But I’m intrigued to see if Sam gets them out of trouble. We might have to start calling him Houdini soon enough.

"Deep down, though, I wonder if he believes he can save them and if his squad is strong enough. On Sunday, [Jermain] Defoe ended up on pitch through injury and that almost changed the game. So in that sense maybe Sam got a bit lucky. But if you are to survive you always need a bit of luck on your side."

The Black Cats' next five games will provide a true test of how quickly Allardyce can get Sunderland going as Big Sam's men face five big challenges.

First is a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton, before Sunderland host Southampton and then visit Crystal Palace.

After that, the Black Cats host Stoke, before traveling to Arsenal. Fans will no doubt hope the derby can inspire Sunderland a lot more than Keown is suggesting.

Sunderland's Everton clash takes place at 1.30pm British Time on Sunday afternoon.

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