Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce says his players “all have to get better” ahead of their crucial Premier League clash against Swansea tomorrow night.
The Black Cats gave their survival hopes a boost with a 3-1 win over bottom club Aston Villa in their last league game.
With Senegal striker Dame N’Doye close to sealing a loan move to Sunderland with a view of a permanent move, Allardyce will be hoping the former Hull striker can fire them to safety.
After being knocked out of the FA Cup at the weekend at the hands of holders Arsenal, Allardyce has made it clear that his priority is Premier League safety.
And the Sunderland boss has told his players that they “all have to get better” if they are to keep their Premier League status.
“There were seven changes but the team was worth £14million that started on Saturday, so it wasn’t weakening the side by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.
“They were players bought for a lot of money, who haven’t played as much as they want and my demand is, and also for those playing on a regular basis, that they all have to get better.”
Striker N’Doye was at the Stadium of Light Academy on Monday to finalise his move from Turkish club Trabzonspor.
The 30-year-old scored five goals in 15 Premier League appearances for Hull last season before being sold in the summer following their relegation,
Allardyce is hoping N’Doye can pick up where he left off in England and hopes defender Jan Kirchhoff, his only January transfer window signing to date, can also make an instant impact.
Kirchhoff, a signing from Bayern Munich, could make his debut at Swansea and his ability to prove his match sharpness in time will become more pressing if skipper John O’Shea fails to shake off the calf strain that forced him off at Arsenal.
Allardyce vented his fury last week at the league’s decision to put the game back 24 hours at Swansea’s request as the Welsh club’s FA Cup defeat at Oxford was played on Sunday.
But the former Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham manager’s sole focus is now on getting the best out of his players.
“We’ve shown in patches, but only small patches, in terms of getting better and being more consistent because we would have won enough games in my time,” added the Sunderland boss.
“Four (wins) at the moment and if we’d have drawn four or three, it would have put us in a much healthier position.
“Our frailty is not having the ability of going into a game and making sure we don’t lose it.
“(On Wednesday) it’s like the Villa game but slightly different in that we’re the Aston Villa in this game. Swansea are slightly ahead of us and when we played Villa we were slightly ahead of them.
“We’ve got to make sure on Wednesday night, at the very least, that Swansea have not gained any points on us.”