Belfast Telegraph

Cool heads at Sunderland needed as heat of safety battle cranks up, warns Allardyce

By Staff Reporter

Sam Allardyce has warned Sunderland not to do a Tottenham and "lose the plot" as they attempt to strike a major blow in the fight for Premier League survival against Chelsea tomorrow.

The 61-year-old Black Cats boss (right) knows their fate is in their own hands with three games left, but may not do so for very long if they allow pressure to get to them.

As an example, he pointed to the way Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs folded mentally against Chelsea on Monday to surrender a 2-0 lead and ultimately their remote chance of denying Leicester the title.

Mousa Dembele is facing a Football Association charge of violent conduct and both clubs have been accused of failing to control their players, and Allardyce knows Sunderland cannot afford to allow their discipline to slip in similar fashion.

He said: "You saw it in Tottenham. We can't afford to do that. We have to stay focused. Tottenham lost a goal then lost the plot mentally, so then all of a sudden all the talent they have in that side just went by the way and ended up not only losing the game, but doing the strangest thing I've ever seen a Tottenham side do, and that's get nine players booked and make some quite ferocious tackles.

"That's the last reaction we want. We want to be aggressive, yes, we want controlled aggression, passion, desire, commitment, yes. But we don't want to go over the top and lose control of ourselves."

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