Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is adamant he has the ability to keep the club in the Premier League despite the poor start to the campaign.
The former Newcastle United coach was appointed at the beginning of last month after being sacked by West Ham at the end of last season.
Former Black Cats boss Dick Advocaat kept the club in the top flight last year but he was unable to maintain that run of form as they only picked up three points from their first eight games.
Since leaving the club, the Dutchman has claimed the Black Cats’ squad is not good enough to avoid relegation into the Championship but Allardyce is determined to prove him wrong.
Sunderland returned to winning ways last weekend against Newcastle as they ran out 3-0 winners in the derby and the former Bolton boss is now backing his team to avoid the drop.
“I like a challenge,” Allardyce told Sky Sports. “When somebody says you can’t do it, I want to do it. Dick says we are not going to stay up, I’m going to show him we can.
“I thought it’s eight games in, 30 to go, which gives me time to get in among the players and staff and say this is where we have to go and this is what we have to achieve behind the scenes to give the players the best chance they can to be successful.
“I’ve got a steely determination when somebody says you can’t have something I have to have it. I have the confidence in my ability too.”
Although they won last time out, Allardyce’s side are still priced at 1.50 to get relegated at the end of the season.