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Sunderland

Hammers wreck Advocaat debut

Sunderland
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ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

The Relegation Scrap: Premier League battle going down to the wire

Newcastle manager John Carver makes it clear that his side must step up their game and end their poor run of form in order to avoid relegation.
ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop explains Newcastle United are playing up to standards, which he feels comes down to ownership.

With three rounds of games remaining in the Premier League season, Dale Johnson assesses the teams battling to avoid the drop with just two points separating five teams for 18th place.

ASTON VILLA
Position: 14th
Points: 35
Remaining fixtures: West Ham (h), Southampton (a), Burnley (h)

Aston Villa's position looks relatively comfortable after victory at home to Everton at the weekend. They now top the mini-league of five teams hoping to avoid relegation and have the comfort of two relatively...



Sunderland start great escape with crucial win over Southampton

Jordi Gomez was on target as Sunderland breathed life into their survival hopes with a win over Southampton.

Sunderland kept Premier League survival hopes alive with an invaluable 2-1 win against Southampton, owed in great measure to two unfancied members of Dick Advocaat's squad.

Danny Graham, a resounding flop since his arrival three managers ago under Martin O'Neill in January 2013, produced easily his best performance in Sunderland colours. He won the first of two penalties and played a key role in the move leading to the second.

SunderlandSunderland
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In each case, Jordi Gomez -- so often criticised for his plodding, ...

ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

The Relegation Scrap: Premier League battle enters the final straight

The ESPN FC crew discuss the clubs they believe are the most likely to be relegated at the end of the season.

With four rounds of games remaining in the Premier League season, Dale Johnson assesses the teams battling to avoid the drop.

NEWCASTLE UNITED
Position: 14th
Points: 35
Remaining fixtures: Leicester (a), West Brom (h), QPR (a), West Ham (h)

Newcastle are still very much the outsiders to go down at this stage, though a run of seven consecutive defeats -- their worst run of losses in the top flight for 38 years -- has left them on the verge of being dragged into trouble.

They travel to Leicester this...



Options running out for Sunderland ahead of Southampton clash

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat says everything looked easy for Stoke City in the first half, but we are happy to get a point out of this match.

Six months after inflicting one of the most humiliating defeats in Sunderland's history, Southampton visit the Stadium of Light on Saturday for a game that could reinforce suspicion that the Wearsiders' latest Premier League stay is almost over.

Eight years after Roy Keane led Sunderland back to the top-flight in exhilarating style, current boss Dick Advocaat knows his own managerial skills have rarely been subjected to a tougher examination.

A sense of resignation has already set in among...

Sunderland drop into relegation zone and look the part in draw with Stoke

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat says everything looked easy for Stoke City in the first half, but we are happy to get a point out of this match.

In most circumstances, Sunderland would see a draw at Stoke City as an acceptable away result.

But in an entirely self-inflicted predicament that leaves Dick Advocaat with an uphill struggle to save the club from relegation to the Championship, victories elsewhere for Hull City and Leicester City made it seem a lot more like a defeat.

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Jermain Defoe, Connor Wickham and Billy Jones will all reflect on the chances they had to turn one point at the Britannia Stadium into three. But the stark reality...

Sunderland clinging to Advocaat's low-key approach

There was a Sunderland banner flying overhead at the Newcastle vs. Tottenham match reading "5 in a row Sunderland" reminding Newcastle who's won the last 5 derbys.

As manager Dick Advocaat takes Sunderland to Stoke on Saturday, attempting to rescue another dismal season, he needs all the motivational powers he can muster to avoid his dream of Premier League management turning into a nightmare.

With only six games left, ending with daunting visits to Arsenal and Chelsea, Sunderland simply cannot afford to lose at the Britannia Stadium. But on this season's form, they inevitably start the game as underdogs. Advocaat, a highly manager, knows this just as he...