Sam Allardyce on his biggest problem at Sunderland so far

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Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has been trying to work out how to get Jermain Defoe and Steven Fletcher into the same line-up.

Sam Allardyce has told the Sunderland Echo that his biggest problem at Sunderland so far has been trying to devise a system which allows him to utilise both Jermain Defoe and Steven Fletcher.

Fletcher and Defoe are proven scorers at Premier League level, but playing them in tandem has left Sunderland exposed at the back on occasions.

However, Allardyce believes he may have found the successful formula, by deploying a 3-5-2 formation.

The Black Cats lined up in that system as they picked up an impressive 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Monday night, and Allardyce has hinted that the formation could be one that they use more frequently from now on.

“The big problem for me has been how do I play them up front together, and by playing three at the back it has given me a bit of a way forward,” he said.

Sunderland’s win over Palace was vital, and they showed a lot of improvement during the contest.

The Black Cats’ defence was well organised and resilient, while Defoe showed his finishing prowess late on, as he capitalised on a Scott Dann error to tuck home the winner.

Sunderland’s victory has moved them up to 18th place in the Premier League table, and they are now just one point away from safety.

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