Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has warned his squad that they cannot ease off after winning back-to-back games and insists they are still in a relegation battle.
Allardyce has seen a huge improvement in performances since his appointment to replace Dick Advocaat, winning three from his first six outings.
Patrick van Aanholt and Duncan Watmore both netted at the Stadium of Light in a game that looked destined to finish goalless in the north east.
Sunderland’s recent form has seen them climb out of the bottom three, although Allardyce insists they must continue to kick on to open up a wider gap.
The former Bolton and Newcastle boss is eager to see the club have a less stressful end to the season for once and hopes to get the points in the bag as early as possible.
Allardyce said: “We might be out of the bottom three, but it’s still relegation [in terms of] points per game played and we have got to make sure we continue to lessen that gap, the quicker the better and certainly by winning three in the first six, it takes us to where we want to be going.
“I said when I came here, I don’t really want to be doing what the club has done over the last four years and have to win a huge amount of games in the last six or eight matches. Let’s try not to get there and let’s try to do it as quickly as we can.”