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Published: 19:05 | 5/5/16

Allardyce warning for players

Sunderland boss urges his team "not to lose the plot" against Chelsea

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce says his side must not "lose the plot" against Chelsea on Saturday.

The Black Cats, who host the 2015 champions at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon, lie a point behind fourth-bottom Newcastle in the Premier League table with a game in hand.

Sunderland will stay up if they outpoint Rafael Benitez's side in their final three matches, against Chelsea and Everton on home soil, and at Watford on 15 May, but the 61-year-old fears his players may lose their discipline against Guus Hiddink's physical side, like Tottenham did against their London rivals at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Spurs had nine players booked during the fractious 2-2 draw that ended Mauricio Pochettino's side's faint hopes of catching Leicester in the title race, and they now face an FA charge of failing to control their players

"You saw it in Tottenham, I think, on Monday night when they lost the plot," Allardyce said.

"We can’t afford to do that. We have to stay focused from start to finish.

"Tottenham lost a goal then lost the plot mentally, so then all of a sudden, all the talent they have in that side just went by the way and they ended up not only losing the game, but doing the strangest thing I’ve ever seen a Tottenham side do, and that’s get nine players booked and make some quite ferocious tackles at the same time.

"That shows you. What happened to Tottenham mentally, we cannot afford for that to happen to our team.

"Perhaps it’s because they are, as Mauricio says, such a young team that they in the end, couldn’t quite cope with that pressure and lost the plot.

"That’s the last reaction we want from our team in any of the last three games. We want to be aggressive, yes, we want controlled aggression, passion, desire, commitment, yes. But we don’t want to go over the top and lose control of ourselves."

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