John O'Shea wants Sam Allardyce to learn more about his Sunderland squad

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Sam Allardyce has admitted that he is still searching for the right formation to use at Sunderland.

John O’Shea has told the Chronicle that the key for Sam Allardyce will be to learn more about the squad he has inherited at Sunderland.

Allardyce admitted to the Daily Mail earlier this week that he is still trying to find out the ideal formation at the Stadium of Light, as he does not know his strongest line-up.

And O’Shea believes it will be important that the 60-year-old devises a permanent system soon, if they are to climb out of trouble.

"Obviously, at the minute the manager’s just trying to find out a system where we can get them both on the pitch," the experienced defender said. "He’s still trying to learn a little bit more about the squad, about everyone, and that’s the key."

Allardyce has switched formation a number of times already at Sunderland, but the 3-5-2 he deployed against Crystal Palace worked well on Monday evening.

Sunderland beat Palace 1-0, and their performance in the contest showed a lot of signs of promise.

The Black Cats were organised at the back at Selhurst Park, while Steven Fletcher and Jermain Defoe’s partnership up-front also looked dangerous.

The win has lifted Sunderland up to 18th in the Premier League table, and they are now just one point away from safety.

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