Fabio Borini hopes Sunderland avoid relegation scraps in future
Fabio Borini hopes Sunderland can achieve Barclays Premier League safety long before the final week of next season provided they complete their latest great escape.
Saturday's battling 3-2 win over Chelsea eased the Black Cats out of the relegation zone as derby rivals Newcastle failed to win at relegated Aston Villa, and victory over Everton on Wednesday evening will secure the club's top flight status and send the Magpies down with Norwich and Villa.
Should that prove to be the case, it would be a fourth successive rescue mission for the Black Cats and Borini, a veteran of the late surge two seasons ago during his loan spell from Liverpool, is hoping next season will be a little less eventful.
He said: "It would be nice to do that. Next year if we manage to do it this year, maybe we do it mid-season. That would be nice.
"Sunderland is used to this and it's nice to feel this way. It's not finished - we need to focus on ourselves, like we did today.
"We didn't think about the result when we were down twice, we just kept going, kept believing and had the desire to get back into the game and win the game."
Sam Allardyce's men had to fight all the way for a precious three points having fallen behind to Diego Costa's 14th-minute opener and then after Wahbi Khazri had levelled with a stunning volley, Nemanja Matic's injury-time strike.
But Borini levelled once again with 67 minutes gone to set the stage for Jermain Defoe to win it three minutes later with his 18th goal of the season and his first at the Stadium of Light since January 2.
Asked what Allardyce's message to his players had been at half-time, Borini said: "Just to keep going. We were playing well. We conceded from two mistakes and when you play against big teams, they convert the chances they get. That was all in the first half.
"We kept going, we defended hard, we worked harder, we fought more than them and we got the result."
Chelsea's indifferent season was summed up in stoppage time when skipper John Terry, who had earlier been booked for a foul on Defoe, caught Khazri late and was dismissed for the second time this season.
As a result, he will sit out the final two games of the campaign through suspension and with no contract offer on the table, his distinguished Chelsea career appears to be over.
If there was a sense of disappointment at Terry being denied the swansong he deserves for his service to the club, he and his team-mates were also left to consider what might have been on Wearside.
Midfielder John Obi Mikel told the club's official website, www.chelseafc.com: "Their fans were on top of them and supporting them, and rightly so because they have to save their Premier League status.
"They came out to fight and play. But if we killed the game when we had the chances and opportunities I don't think they would have come back into the game."