Allardyce urges Sunderland to secure safety against Everton
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has urged his players to grab the opportunity to bring an end to the Premier League's relegation battle when they host Everton at the Stadium Of Light on Wednesday night.
Saturday's 3-2 win over Chelsea bolstered the Black Cats' survival hopes in the league, and a victory over Roberto Martinez's men will secure top-flight football for next season, relegating Norwich City and local rivals Newcastle United.
Allardyce, however, expects a tough encounter against Everton, who have came under heavy criticism for their timid display in Saturday's 3-1 loss to champions Leicester City.
"We've got two games left to secure Premier League status but knowing we can kill everyone else off on Wednesday is pressure in itself. Can we handle it?" the 61-year-old Allardyce told British media.
"Everton will be out to spoil our celebrations. Roberto's players will fight all the way because of the criticism they received after their defeat at Leicester at the weekend."
With Sunderland flirting with relegation for the last four seasons, Allardyce hoped his serial strugglers will learn from their mistakes and avoid another relegation scramble next campaign should they stay up.
"Let's do it for the fourth time and say, let's not let it happen again. I think that's the most important thing," said Allardyce, who has never been relegated from England's top-flight as a manager.
Failure to beat 12th-placed Everton could ensure a nervous final day for Sunderland, who finish their campaign with a trip to Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday.