Keown: Greatest Escape Within Cats' Grasp

Michael Regan

People keep telling us Sunderland are staying up. We dare not believe them!

Sunderland's stirring cup form should help them pull of one of the greatest escapes in Premier League history, according to BBC pundit and former England defender Martin Keown.

Keown believes the three home games against Cardiff City, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City are essentially cup ties, which considering the Black Cats' propensity for performance in the cup competitions this season bodes very well for Gus Poyet's men.

He wrote in his Daily Mail column:

Gus Poyet insisted Sunderland now needed a miracle to escape relegation. Win against Cardiff on Sunday and I believe they will go on to pull off a truly miraculous recovery.

Sunderland's home games against Cardiff, West Brom and Swansea all look winnable and six points from them could be enough to survive.

Each game will feel like a cup tie but given how Sunderland have performed in the cups this season that is no bad thing. Poyet has been able to recapture the positivity of those runs, take them over into the league and now they have to match that intensity in their final four games.

The great escape is definitely on.

We are certainly not counting our chickens on this one, Martin. In fact, we'll probably assume we are going down until someone points us to a league table after 38 games that tells us otherwise.

If Sunderland were even the remotest bit predictable, we'd all be in considerably healthier physical condition.

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