Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Players Must Adapt to Changing Times, Says Allardyce; THE PREVIEW: Chelsea V Sunderland Stamford Bridge, Today, 3pm Sam Allardyce Continues to Tinker with His Team and Tactics but, He Tells Steve Brown, His Players Must Think for Themselves to Take Advantage of Chelsea

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cats Players Must Adapt to Changing Times, Says Allardyce; THE PREVIEW: Chelsea V Sunderland Stamford Bridge, Today, 3pm Sam Allardyce Continues to Tinker with His Team and Tactics but, He Tells Steve Brown, His Players Must Think for Themselves to Take Advantage of Chelsea

Article excerpt

TOO "worried" about his own club to dissect the woes of Chelsea, Sam Allardyce has challenged his Sunderland stars to think.

For themselves, on their feet, outside the box.

To further "help get results", his "tinkering" goes on.

Unlike Jose Mourinho, the Black Cats are at Stamford Bridge today, second bottom of the Premier League but only three places and as many points behind the beleaguered Blues.

So, a relegation six-pointer? Sort of, said Allardyce - a win for Wearside would drag the reigning champions deeper and leave both on 15 points.

Now, he added, in this "unique, fascinating" division, is the time to beat up the "so-called big boys". This all was amid him, Big Sam, spending 20 minutes on Thursday telling the press about his relationship with the 'Special One'' and how they bonded during the Soccer Aid charity football event last June.

Allardyce said: "He doesn't drink as much as me."

Yet, while sympathetic and baf-fled, the Sunderland manager remains the Sunderland manager with a job to be done - save Sunderland.

Between that and this past week's scouting mission he has had little time to dwell on the blues of the Blues but to say their gilded millionaires may be unused to the different pressures of life at the bottom.

His own are his own problem.

They must sustain a "level of performance, and not dip". Short of their best, Sunderland will "struggle", no matter Chelsea's problems.

Allardyce is plotting a plan, ever changing. His players must go with him, "adjust and change" along the path.

He said: "I think I'm still tinkering around and it depends on the players available.

"I had to change the system last Saturday (against Watford) because it didn't work as well with Younes Kaboul missing. So I had to change the system very quickly, I had to help us get better, which it did, so I'm still tinkering around with systems to suit the players available and to suit the team we're playing against.

"Not everybody does it like that, I know.

"Yet, you know, it's always stood me in good stead to get the players to think outside the box and to be able to adjust and change. …

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