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Allardyce meditating to stay calm in relegation scrap

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce said he meditates to help him focus on the task at hand as he tries to save the club from relegation to the Championship.

Allardyce, 61, said he regularly performs the relaxation technique to help him from becoming overwhelmed by the prospect of relegation, with three matches left to beat the drop.

"It helps you cope with the pressure you come under in this job," Allardyce explained. "I read the science and it helps to reduce your blood pressure and keeps you calmer.

"I am not a great sleeper, so 30 minutes of meditation, they say in research, is as good as two or three hours sleep, which is why you feel better."

Sunderland are in the bottom three of the Premier League, but have a game in hand on 17th-placed Newcastle United, who are just a point ahead.

Allardyce's men take on Chelsea on Saturday, with three points crucial to his team's Premier League status, although the former Newcastle manager recognises there is more at stake than just top-flight football.

"It's about saving people's jobs," he added. "There are hundreds of staff working at this club but that workforce would have to be severely cut if we got relegated.

"It would be devastating. I feel that responsibility. There will be Sunderland fans losing their jobs, many of whom have been here for a long time and love this place."