Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sam Tells Cats Fans to Expect Anything; Boss Tells Fans to Expect Anything

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sam Tells Cats Fans to Expect Anything; Boss Tells Fans to Expect Anything

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner @sturayner

SAM Allardyce has told Sunderland supporters to continue expecting the unexpected this season, but even he would regard victory over champions-elect Leicester City as a surprise.

It says much about how the football world has struggled to get its mind around the Foxes' emergence many are tipping them to lose at the Stadium of Light tomorrow even though Claudio Ranieri's men are seven points clear and Allardyce's could be seven points from safety at kick-off.

"It's strange, isn't it?" said Allardyce, whose side have improved greatly in their last eight games, but only won one.

"It's been a mighty, indifferent season in terms of predictions.

"So many people have done so much more and other teams have done so much less than expected that we are now expecting the unexpected to actually happen. I hope it's the truth.

"No one expected us to beat Man U and we did and that's our last win. I would have hoped we would have kicked on with two or three wins.

"We have had the opportunities but failed miserably in achieving that.

"I hope we can maintain the performance level we showed against West Brom, which I think is the least level we are going to have to achieve against Leicester based on their recent capabilities of being the masters of the 1-0 victory."

Leicester went into April 2015 bottom of the Premier League, and have been outstanding ever Turn to Page 80 FROM BACK PAGE since. It is why Allardyce is adamant they are favourites in tomorrow's televised game.

"They have (Riyad) Mahrez and (Jamie) Vardy, two of the top-scorers in the Premier League," he pointed out. "They have got clean sheets running right through the team.

"It is a hugely well-drilled, well-organised, highly confident side to play against, to break down, to beat and (it is a challenge) to keep two of the best goalscorers in the league quiet with a very good very well-organised tactical structure both in and out of possession. …

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