Sam Allardyce on his long chat with Sunderland's staff yesterday

Sunderland are set to take on Crystal Palace later this evening.

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has told the Sunderland Echo that he had a long discussion with his backroom staff about his team selections so far.

The Black Cats have improved considerably since Allardyce took charge, but their performances have not gained them the amount of the points that they were hoping for.

Sunderland have only taken four points from their last four matches, and they remain down in 19th place in the Premier League table.

It leaves Allardyce with a selection dilemma ahead of his side’s match against Crystal Palace later this evening, and the 61-year-old has hinted that he could turn to Jack Rodwell, as he looks to to solve his side’s biggest problem.

“He (Rodwell) comes into my thinking, yes,” Allardyce said.

“We (Allardyce and his staff) had a long chat yesterday and another look at Crystal Palace to decide if there needed to be any changes to the starting XI.

“But I still think the emphasis on our lads is to keep more clean sheets."

Allardyce’s side’s struggles for victories were perfectly highlighted when they took on West Ham United at the weekend.

Despite dominating for much of the second half, the Wearsiders left Upton Park empty handed after losing 1-0.

Rodwell actually missed two of Sunderland’s best chances in that match, but he still impressed with his display.

The good news for Sunderland in tonight’s match is that Palace have also struggled for victories of late, with Alan Pardew’s men currently on a 10 match winless streak.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch