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The Roker Roundup: Friday 4th March 2016

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Allardyce Reaffirms Points Target

Sam Allardyce has insisted his side are targetting a thirty-eight point total if they are to survive.

For Sunderland that would mean we need to go on a run of results that is comparable to a side challenging for the top six - it's no mean feat and though certainly not beyond us, it's going to be difficult.

Allardyce said:

It would be our best run of the season, putting together five wins in 10 games.

It could be four wins, three draws, however we can get to 38 points, which is certainly, I think, going to be enough this year. I hope we can achieve it. If we can go on a miraculous run and achieve more, that would make life even more pleasurable for us coming towards the last few games.

But I certainly think we are all going to be getting ready to bite our nails again. I think it is going to go right to the wire, so we will need to be biting our nails.

I hope I'm wrong, but it looks like that is going to be the case and if that's the case, if we can hold our nerve, I certainly think we have got the talent to get out of trouble.

I dunno. I think thirty-five points might be enough at this stage, though our fate solely depends upon whether or not we beat Norwich and Newcastle away from home.

England v Australia Confirmed At The SOL

As we revealed last week, the Stadium of Light will host a friendly game between England and Australia on Friday the 27th of May.

Roy Hodgson's side are taking in the game as part of their Euro 2016 preparation plans, which sees them also face Turkey at the Etihad Stadium and then Portugal at Wembley.

Sunderland supporters receive no priority on tickets, meaning anyone wishing to go will have to apply via the traditional methods.

Alvarez Future Still Unclear

Former Sunderland playmaker Ricky Alvarez has noted that he's still unclear on who actually owns him.

The Argentinian international has been at the centre of a legal dispute between Inter Milan and Sunderland, who cannot agree upon which side actually own him. Sunderland feel as though Alvarez was sold to them when Inter Milan knew he was injured, with neither side able to agree upon who is in the right.

Alvarez, meanwhile, has been stuck in limbo and was granted special dispensation by FIFA to sign for Sampdoria until the end of the season in order for him to earn a living and play football whilst Inter and Sunderland fight it out in the courts.

Alvarez told La Repubblica:

I still don’t know who holds my registration.

t’s not a good situation, but I can say that in general footballers aren’t used to knowing their fate. It doesn’t depend on me, I just want to do well with Sampdoria and sign a ‘real’ contract.

It wasn’t easy to train alone for months, it’s something I wouldn’t wish on any player.

O'Shea Expected To Be Fit For Saints Clash

John O'Shea is expected to play for Sunderland against Southampton tomorrow despite limping off on Tuesday night against Crystal Palace.

According to the Irish Times, O'Shea's issue isn't as bad as initially feared and he's expected to start alongside Lamine Kone tomorrow afternoon at St Mary's.