‘Almost immediately’ - the Sunderland insider Sam Allardyce verdict that will interest Leeds United fans

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Insight for Leeds United fans on Sam Allardyce based on the veteran boss’s spell at Sunderland.

Leeds United are set to turn to Sam Allardyce as they search for a route to Premier League safety, but what can Whites fans expect if the veteran boss is appointed?

The Whites are just goal difference above the drop zone, and they need points with four tough games remaining. But what can Leeds fans expect from Allardyce? We have spoken to the Sunderland Echo’s Sunderland reporter Phil Smith for insight based on Allardyce’s spell with the Black Cats back in 2015.

Take a look at the interview below.

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Did Allardyce have an instant impact on results? (Leeds need it)

Phil Smith: “Yes and no. Allardyce won three of his first six games in charge, including a 3-0 win in the derby against Newcastle United. That represented a significant uptick in form from the early stages of the season, but the club then had a five-game losing streak heading into the New Year.

“Allardyce did have an instant impact on results but it was the January window that was vital. He oversaw the arrival of centre-half Lamine Kone, defensive midfielder Jan Kirchhoff and forward Wahbi Khazri, and they became essential players in the XI that eventually finished the season strongly and survived. Most supporters see that January business as the primary reason why the club was able to retain their Premier League status.

“Allardyce was popular with the players, who respected the structure he was able to bring to the team over time.”

Did Allardyce do anything drastic team selection-wise?

PS: “That January business was crucial but Allardyce did make some key decisions elsewhere that proved to be vital. He managed to fit Jermain Defoe into the XI successfully, which is something that previous managers had struggled to do. That was hugely significant as Defoe went on to score the goals that undoubtedly kept the club up.”

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How much time did he have to work his survival magic?

PS: “Allardyce was appointed in October just six games into the campaign, so had a prolonged period to keep the club up. They did that with one game to spare, so it was very much a project that took Allardyce time. It took a number of months for him to find the solidity and consistency required from his group, though as mentioned there was an initial boost in results to an extent.”

Do you think four games is enough to save a club from the drop?

PS: “I don't think there's any doubt that the team's defensive structure will improve almost immediately, and maybe given the fine margins at play that will be enough.”

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