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Sam Allardyce says he cannot guarantee that he will stay as Sunderland manager if the Black Cats are relegated to the Championship.
Allardyce, who signed a two-year deal at the Stadium of Light in October, says he and owner Ellis Short will assess the campaign at the end of the season, and make a decision on his future then.
However, the former Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn and West Ham boss hinted that he may walk away from the job if Sundelrand go down and he is not handed a transfer budget to get the club back to the top-flight at the first attempt.
Sunderland currently lie in 18th place in the Premier League table, two points off safety but with a game in hand on 17th-placed Norwich City.
"Until we know where we are and whether we are relegated, until we are mathematically not capable of staying in the Premier League, that decision will be made between me and Ellis," the 61-year-old said.
"I'm not going to speculate more than that because I don't know how the budgets are going to lie, what and where we have to cut financially, and I don't know exactly what sort of squad I will be left with until that position arises."
Allardyce hopes Jack Rodwell will make a meaningful contribution to Sunderland's battle against relegation after the 25-year-old impressed with his positivity in training.
The £10m midfielder has struggled with injuries and indifferent form since signing from Manchester City in August 2014, but Allardyce believes the former England international is now at full fitness.
"I have to say, we have finally found Jack Rodwell," Allardyce continued.
"'I shouldn't be talking about it, but he has completed games, he has not missed a day's training, he is not thinking about getting injured anymore.
"We have done a huge amount of work on him through our chiropractitioner, medical staff, coaches and psychologist.
"Injuries used to play on his mind. Every twitch and tweak, he'd worry 'Is this another injury?'.
'" hope I'm not speaking too soon, but certainly his progress has been extremely good. There is a lot more to come as well in terms of ability.
"We've helped him find himself. Everything in injury terms has a massive mental effect on a player.
"Where the neurons and dendrites are about the negativity that lies within those dendrites, you've got to get those positives in there, which is what we have worked on."