Sunderland Secure Premier League Future
8 May 2014, 05:09
Sunderland have ensured their safety in the Premier League for the 2014/15 season after a 2-0 win over West Brom.
A crowd of 45,181 saw Gus Poyet's side ensure their eighth consecutive season of top flight football at the Stadium of Light.
Poyet has insisted keeping Sunderland in the Premier League is the biggest achievement of his career.
The 46-year-old Uruguayan was handed the task of sparing the Black Cats from the drop in October, at which point they had collected just a solitary point from their opening seven games.
They now have 38 points after a remarkable fourth successive win.
"It's the biggest achievement of my life, for sure. Today is one of the happiest days of my life as well.
I always think about other people. I think about today the fans from this city, how important it is for them to have a team in the Barclays Premier League - we have got it, at least for another year - how important for the staff, how important for everybody really, how important for the chairman to be able to plan for the future knowing that we are going to be in the Barclays Premier League.
I am delighted for the players. It's been difficult, I can tell you, it's been very, very difficult.
I don't know if it's going to happen again, but I believe in miracles now.''
Sunderland went into the game knowing a point would effectively be enough to save them because of their superior goal difference over Norwich, who will drop into the Football League barring a frankly unlikely series of events on Sunday.
They had it won by half-time as first Jack Colback and then Fabio Borini struck after 13 and 31 minutes respectively, and they never looked back.
Loan signing Borini will return to parent club Liverpool after the weekend, while Colback is one of several men out of contract and with whom Poyet intends to sit down over the next few days.
Asked what the immediate future holds, the head coach said:
"To sit down and talk to the players who are without contracts, who have been incredible, be able to talk to them and tell them the good or the bad news; plan pre-season games, confirm trips, where we are going to go, what we are going to do; start watching players - I haven't watched any, no-one.
A little bit of work, yes, but I am going to have an incredible week next week with my lovely wife somewhere. And I hope not to see any one of you. You know what I mean.''
The Black Cats now take on The Swans in the season finale, which is a traditional 3pm kick off.
With the last game of the season always hugely popular, the club is advising its supporters to secure their seats in advance of the day of the game to avoid disappointment.
Ticket collection points and the stadium's ticket office will be extremely busy on Sunday and fans are urged to buy or collect pre-paid tickets as soon as possible.
The Stadium of Light ticket office will be open for sales and collections 9am-5:30pm on Thursday and Friday and 10am-1pm on Saturday.