Sam Allardyce discusses Sunderland's survival hopes ahead of "massive" Watford game

The Black Cats have made a vast improvement since Big Sam arrived at the club in October.

Sam Allardyce has admitted that he has seen a major improvement in his Sunderland side since he took over in October, but conceded that they still have a long way to go before they can think about Premier League safety, the Shields Gazette reports.

When the former West Ham United boss took over, the Black Cats were second from bottom with just three points from their first eight games. And while they remain 19th, their form has significantly improved, with three wins coming in their next seven fixtures, leaving them one point off safety, and three behind champions Chelsea in 14th. 

Allardyce explained that while he was pleased with the way that the team have responded since he came to the club, he insisted that they cannot get carried away ahead of the visit of Watford this Saturday.

"We're asking the players to improve and I think they're doing that," he said.

"Each week, we're performing better and better.

"It didn't get a result at Arsenal, although we deserved to get one.

"Our frailties in front of goal have not allowed us to get one.

"But we've got to keep those standards up because we've got a massive six-pointer next weekend against Watford," he added.

As the manager alluded to, the game against Quique Sanchez Flores' men is huge to Sunderland's hopes of survival. The club face Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool before the end of December, so - while Jose Mourinho's side have endured a dreadful start to the season, and thus, they may fancy their chances against the Blues - their game against the Hornets may be their best opportunity to continue their revival.

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