Football: Allardyce steels Sunderland for pivotal Everton test

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce (left).
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce (left). PHOTO: REUTERS

SUNDERLAND (AFP) - Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has warned his side that they are not yet safe as they close in on a fourth consecutive late-season escape from Premier League relegation.

The north-east club will secure a 10th successive season of top-flight football with victory at home to Roberto Martinez's drifting Everton on Wednesday.

Fourth-bottom Sunderland have pulled off similar last-gasp escapes in the past three seasons and set up a chance to do it again with a stirring 3-2 comeback victory over Chelsea at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Their 48,000-capacity home will again post the "Sold out" signs as they look to secure back-to-back wins for the first time since November, which would see them safe and condemn neighbours Newcastle United and Norwich City to the Championship alongside bottom club Aston Villa.

A draw will leave their relegation rivals with slim hopes of staying up and Allardyce is keen to finish the job to avoid going into the final day with matters still unresolved.

Sunderland visit Watford on Sunday, with Newcastle hosting Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich travelling to Everton.

"Our destiny is in our own hands," Allardyce said. "But we can't go into the Everton game with the expectation that it's job done, because it isn't. We need a repeat of the performance and support we had against Chelsea, particularly in the second half."