´Incredible´ escape must be last survival scrap, says Mannone
Vito Mannone hailed Sunderland’s escape act after the club secured Premier League safety, but urged them to avoid being in the same position in the seasons to come.
Sam Allardyce’s men beat Everton 3-0 on Wednesday to complete a dramatic revival and send bitter rivals Newcastle United into the Championship along with Norwich City and Aston Villa.
It is becoming a common theme for the Black Cats to narrowly stay up, having failed to surpass 40 points since the 2011-12 campaign – though they will do so this term with a final-day win over Watford.
Goalkeeper Mannone enjoyed the side’s midweek heroics at the Stadium of Light, but would rather avoid a repeat.
“We’ve done something incredible,” the 28-year-old told BBC Newcastle.
“But we’ve got to learn now not to put ourselves in the same situation.
“I’m annoyed that we have not avoided it. We’ve got a good squad, a good coaching staff and a good manager – and it needs to be a base for us to push on now.”
Mannone insists he never doubted Sunderland would beat the drop, despite the fact they were seven points from safety at the start of 2016.
He added: “I always have a good feeling, this is Sunderland, before the end of the season something magic happens.
“We play like finals every game, pressure becomes enjoyment when you turn the pressure into positive results.
“I have to thank every one of my team-mates and everyone involved with the club and the fans have been amazing.
“When you play top teams like Arsenal, Chelsea or Everton, if you play your way and you have these fans behind you, you’ll do it.”