Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat retains survival belief

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat

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Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat is confident his side will avoid the drop, despite being dragged into the Premier League’s bottom three.

The Black Cats had to settle for a point at Stoke on Saturday as they were pegged back by a sensational Charlie Adam strike after Connor Wickham’s opener.

However, Leicester’s win at Burnley and Hull’s victory at Crystal Palace meant Sunderland slipped into the drop zone despite the 1-1 draw with the Potters.

Advocaat, who joined the club until the end of the season following Gus Poyet’s dismissal, insists that Sunderland can pick up enough points in their final five games to move clear of danger and he was encouraged by the performance against Stoke.

“I am pleased because I think [in] the first half we played very poor and we were lucky it stayed 1-1 at half-time, so I could change something in the line-up,” the Dutchman told reporters.

“From that moment on we started playing football a little bit, it was much better than the first half and we created three or four good opportunities, but those kind of chances at this level you have to score.

“This was a good point and we have to take it into the next game against Southampton – if we can give that commitment I am very positive about it [staying up].

“We have five games to go, everything is open. We will try to be positive to the team, and hopefully they can play like this next week.”

Sunderland are priced at 1.50 to be relegated, with Hull at 3.00 and Leicester at 5.50.

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