Former Sunderland goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen “definitely” believes the club can avoid relegation with Sam Allardyce at the helm.
Sunderland sit 19th in the Premier League amid a season that has seen them part company with Dick Advocaat, but they have shown signs of improvement under Allardyce.
The Tyne and Wear outfit had won back-to-back matches against Stoke City and Crystal Palace prior to last week’s 3-1 loss at Arsenal, which left the club a point adrift of safety.
But Sorensen, who won the 1998-99 second-tier title in his first season with Sunderland before going on to amass almost 200 appearances at the Stadium of Light, told Omnisport he is confident Allardyce’s men have the quality to preserve their top-flight status.
“I definitely think they can,” said the 39-year-old, now plying his trade with Melbourne City in the A-League.
“Allardyce is a proven manager at that level. He is good at what he does. He is obviously looking for results because that is what they need. They need stability. They have gone through some tough times, a lot of managers and a lot of players coming and going.
“The league is so tight, but when you look at their squad I think they have enough to string some results together.”
Sunderland have the opportunity to climb out of the drop zone, depending on results elsewhere, when they host 10th-placed Watford on Saturday.
That contest is followed by daunting trips to Chelsea and Manchester City, though Sorensen is wary of underestimating Quique Sanchez Flores’ side.
“Sometimes those kinds of games are the toughest,” the former Denmark international added. “You pinpoint them on the schedule and you think that’s the three points, but it doesn’t always turn out that way, especially when you’re down there.
“But they will be looking to build on their recent good form. Christmas is such an important period because the games come thick and fast, so if you get a couple of good results you move quickly up the table.
“I can see them picking up a result against the bigger teams or Watford, but I think the fans would expect them to win the Watford game.”