Lee Cattermole says Sam Allardyce staying at Sunderland would have changed everything.
Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole has lamented Sam Allardyce's 2016 exit as manager.
The Black Cats are battling to avoid relegation into League One, and Cattermole believes Allardyce's departure was the turning point.
Having staved off relegation to the Championship in consecutive seasons, Cattermole believes keeping Allardyce was their chance to get the club looking upward - instead it all went horribly wrong.
Allardyce was offered his dream job as England manager - which lasted just months - and Sunderland were relegated within a year.
Cattermole told The Mirror: "I’m certain he would have stabilised it. It was rocking at the Stadium of Light.
“I felt in that summer if we had two or three years of Big Sam, he’d have controlled everything for Ellis Short, and Sam had seen it all.”
Sunderland are on their second manager of the season, with Chris Coleman trying to help them climb up the table after Simon Grayson flopped during his spell in charge.
They are in 23rd place of 24 teams and take on Brentford this weekend.