Short: It was greatest escape

Sunderland chairman Ellis Short says the club's successful survival mission was not the 'great escape' but the 'greatest escape'.

When the Black Cats were beaten 1-0 by Everton at the Stadium of Light on April 12 they were bottom of the Premier League and seven points adrift of safety.

But wins over Chelsea, Cardiff City and Manchester United gave Gus Poyet's men a real chance of survival and they secured their top-flight status with a 2-0 win over West Brom last weekend.

Writing in his programme notes ahead of Sunday afternoon's final-day clash with Swansea, Short said: "This has been by far the best season I have ever had during my involvement with the club.

"The highs have been so high, but unfortunately the lows have also been so low.

"When (manager) Gus (Poyet) arrived at the club, it was at a low ebb, but he and his staff galvanised the squad and what they and the players have achieved will be written in football history.

"It is something special, something against the odds - a quite remarkable renaissance. Not only have we survived, but we have done so with a game to spare.

"I wouldn't call this 'The Great Escape' I would describe it as 'The Greatest Escape'."

Short's comments came amid speculation that Poyet could leave the club this summer after being linked with possible vacancies at Southampton and West Ham.