Sunderland beat Manchester United 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.
Goals from new signings Wahbi Khazri and Lamine Kone either side of a Anthony Martial equaliser were enough for the hosts, and it moves them momentarily within one point of safety.
When Sam Allardyce walked through the door, he took over a team winless from their opening set of Premier League fixtures and with confidence at an all-time low.
The side looked doomed, yet a decent January has given the club the chance to regroup, bring in some fresh players and set clear targets for the remainder of the campaign.
While they’re still in deep relegation trouble, Nevin believes Sunderland can feel optimistic about their chances of survival and with a good run of form they could get themselves out of it.
“Sunderland what a story. I thought they were out at 1-1 they were second best in the first half but whatever Sam said at half-time it was the right thing,” Nevin explained.
"If they finish the season in 17th position Sam has done his job. They are within striking distance and have a decent chance. The way they played today, just play like that, care that much about it and you absolutely have a chance."
Sunderland have taken 20 points from 18 games under Sam Allardyce’s guidance – a run of form which would see the Black Cats stay up over the course of a 38-game campaign.
However, with only 23 points from 26 matches, the Wearside club arguably need to improve further over the remaining 12 matches if they are to have any chance of avoiding the drop.