Football Expert & Columnist
Niall Quinn says Sunderland have 'something big' under Sam Allardyce
Last Updated: 12/05/16 8:03am
Niall Quinn and Jamie Carragher have backed Sunderland to establish themselves as a top-10 club after securing Premier League safety under Sam Allardyce.
Wednesday night's 3-0 victory over Everton ensured Sunderland will play Premier League football and enjoy the riches of the bumper new TV deal next year, despite a season of struggle.
Former chariman and striker Quinn insists the manager deserves enormous credit for the work he has done and encouraged the club to give him a long-term contract.
"Sunderland have developed something under Sam Allardyce, which is huge," Quinn told Sky Sports.
"They've been used to escaping but there's something different about tonight. You feel there's something really strong to build on.
"He has something really big going on now and I think it could last for years.
"He is the perfect fit. The Sunderland fans shout louder for a tackle than they do for goals sometimes and he brings the robustness that this club is missing.
"They've had a soft centre at times, but not with him around. The organisation is really good and he is a different class in the transfer market.
"The fit is so good with Sam Allardyce. He has come in and done an incredible job just trying to keep the club up, but there's nobody better placed to go and bring it to the next level.
"I hope he signs for quite a number of years and sees out his days here."
Allardyce replaced Dick Advocaat in October with Sunderland in 19th place and they have spent more days in the relegation zone than any other team this season before securing safety with a game to spare.
And Sky Sports pundit Carragher believes the appointment of Allardyce will ensure they won't be in the scrap again next season.
He said: "Sam Allardyce is a Marmite sort of character as a manager. Some people love him and some obviously don't.
"With Sam Allardyce you've an absolute guarantee of Premier League football. That's what he is and I don't think he gets enough credit.
"He plays a certain way and people over the last few years have said it's all about possession and passing, but you see what happened tonight with the manager on the opposite side, Roberto Martinez, who is like that. Sunderland won 3-0.
"Under Sam Allardyce, this Sunderland team will get back to the days of Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips under Peter Reid when they were comfortably in the top 10."