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Sam Allardyce says Sunderland "turned into a team from January onwards" after watching the Black Cats secure their top-flight status with a 3-0 win over Everton.
Defenders Patrick van Aanholt and Lamine Kone (2) netted at the Stadium of Light to secure a tenth successive season of Premier League football for Sunderland, and manager Allardyce says the January signings of Kone, Jan Kirchhoff and Wahbi Khazri proved crucial in the Wearsiders' turnaround.
"It's been a long few months, especially the winter months, until we got some players in in January," he told Sky Sports.
We became a team that was difficult to beat, who did not like losing and continued the run constantly for the last few months.
"The Norwich result was the big one we needed, we got close, there was a slip up and then I think the performance against Chelsea, the comeback, gave us momentum to win this game against Everton."
Allardyce also confirmed that he intends to stay on as manager, amid speculation that he might step down if the club were relegated to the Championship.
"I hope I am here next season," he continued.
"We have just secured the financial side of being in the Premier League which was most important this season.
"What that gives us in terms of spending power, it is the same for everybody. It is about how wise we spend it, find players we need, like we did in January.
"The next set of recruitment is crucial for the football club, so we are not cheering or doing a lap of honour for having avoided relegation."
Black Cats' striker Jermain Defoe says Allardyce lifted the mood at the club after replacing Dick Advocaat in October, giving the players confidence as the season progressed that they could stay up.
"If you look at the great teams over the years it is all about team spirit and togetherness, the main thing has been the team spirit," he told Sky Sports.
"Tonight it was a case of being relaxed and not getting caught up in the occasion. The first goal settled us down.
"He [Sam Allardyce] has been there and done it, he is a top manager and away from the pitch he is a great man, we are all delighted."