Belfast Telegraph

Sam Allardyce's great escapes

Sam Allardyce opted to leave Crystal Palace on Tuesday after successfully preserving the club's Premier League status.

The 62-year-old, who guided the Eagles to 14th after succeeding Alan Pardew in December , has developed a reputation for keeping teams in the top flight.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the great escapes masterminded by Allardyce.

1. Bolton - 2002-03

After leading the Trotters to promotion in 2001, Allardyce enjoyed six seasons with the club in the Premier League. While he recorded consecutive top-eight finishes in his final four campaigns, the first two years in the top flight were a struggle. Bolton finished four points and two places above the bottom three in 2002 and came within a whisker of going down the next season when a final-day victory over Middlesbrough saw them stay up by two points at the expense of West Ham.

2. Blackburn - 2008-09

Allardyce's next great escape came at Bolton's near-neighbours. He replaced Paul Ince in December 2008 with Rovers second-bottom having won three of 17 league matches. Allardyce made Blackburn hard to beat and results quickly improved as they defeated Stoke 3-0 in his first game on their way to accruing enough points to comfortably stay in the league.

3. Sunderland - 2015-16

The Black Cats were winless from their opening eight games and had only three points when Allardyce was brought in following the departure of Dick Advocaat. He openly admitted it would be a big challenge to keep the Wearsiders up and he very nearly failed. Just two points separated Sunderland and relegated north-east rivals Newcastle at the end after the clubs matched each other's impressive end-of-season form by winning three and drawing three of their final six matches.

4. Crystal Palace - 2016-17

His most recent survival mission came at Selhurst Park. Palace were just one point above the relegation places when the former England boss took over from Alan Pardew two days before Christmas. Things began badly with the London club losing six of their next eight matches, including a potentially costly 4-0 drubbing by relegation rivals Sunderland. Allardyce, however, was once again able to find a solution and secured six victories from the next eight games, including wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, to help finish with a seven-point gap on 17th.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph