Sam Allardyce is happy to have “put the past in the past” after bouncing back from his England disappointment to keep Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
The 62-year-old began 2016-17 as the national team manager, with his reputation arguably as strong as it had ever been after dragging Sunderland to safety in the previous campaign.
However, he lasted only 67 days in the England job after he was filmed telling undercover reporters from the Daily Telegraph how to bend rules on third-party ownership of players.
He spent three months out of work until he was called on by Palace chairman Steve Parish in December as the Londoners, like Sunderland the season before, turned to the division’s best-known trouble-shooter.
Little over six weeks into his reign at Selhurst Park though it looked as though Allardyce’s magic touch had deserted him and that he would suffer his first relegation as a Premier League manager.
But a victory over Middlesbrough at the end of February proved the start of a remarkable run that eventually secured their top-flight status.
Asked to reflect on a hugely turbulent 10 months, Allardyce said: “You can look and move on with your life and say ‘Look what’s happened at Crystal Palace and what can be built for next year.’
“It’s been great because I’ve been back in football. Steve gave us a chance to come and save Palace and we’ve both got what we wanted.
“I’ve got back in the game and shown the fact that I’ve worked hard with the backroom staff and the support staff and the owners, and we’ve all pulled it together in a short period of time and been successful, and that puts the past in the past.
“So I look in the future and not in the past, because you can’t affect the past anymore.”
Asked whether he accepted the Palace offer to prove himself, Allardyce said: “Not prove myself, just come and get working again.
“Just come and get in amongst it, where I’m most familiar, and try and help another team that’s said ‘We’re in a difficult position, do you think you can help us get out of it?’
“We’ve made a lot of changes behind the scenes, changes on the field, and in the end we’ve got what we wanted, we’re safe with a game to go, we jumped a few places in the league, and everyone should be very satisfied with what they’ve achieved since I arrived.”
Allardyce’s team conclude the season at Manchester United on Sunday, where because of an Achilles injury they will be without Andros Townsend, and potentially Yohan Cabaye because of a knock.
The Palace boss was also asked about the widely-criticised comments made by David Moyes, his successor at Sunderland, who said at the season’s start they were in a battle to survive, and revealed plans to expand the Eagles’ backroom staff.
“I would never say ‘We’re in a relegation battle,”’ he said.
“I would say we would be in a relegation battle if after six to eight games we’re in the bottom three, but I’d never say it at the beginning of the season.
“The backroom staff are of far greater importance to me than an extra player sometimes, because they’re the ones who deliver, and help the players deliver on a regular basis. It’s a whole football department to try and improve.
“[Next season is] five years in the Premier League and if you’re going to stand still you’ll end up getting relegated, so you’ve got to improve the squad, the team, the backroom staff.”