Allardyce claims Sunderland had worst fitness in Premier League when he took over

Allardyce deflated

Sunderland managed to escape relegation because of the drastic changes Allardyce made.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has told the Chronicle that the Black Cats had the worst fitness in the Premier League when he took over.

Sunderland secured their Premier League status this week, as a win over Everton at the Stadium of Light saw them relegate both Newcastle United and Norwich City.

It had looked certain they would be relegated before Allardyce’s arrival at the club, as they failed to pick up points under former Dick Advocaat.

Allardyce has transformed them though, with his work in the January transfer window in particular contributing to their survival.

He has changed a number of things in his time, but he says the first thing he had to fix was his side’s fitness issues.

“Our first priority was to get fitter because for me, the data said in ProZone terms that we were the least fit side in the league,” he told the Chronicle.

“The first thing to address was that because it meant we tired quicker than any other team. We lost our energy quicker than any other team and were ultimately more vulnerable.”

Sunderland fans will now be hoping that Allardyce can establish them in the Premier League and avoid another relegation scrap next season.

Just as the January transfer window was key to their survival, the summer transfer window is sure to be key to their future hopes too.

If Allardyce can move players on, and bring the right ones in, then it is likely that their yearly end of season relegation escape will have come to end this year.

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