Lamine Kone's thoughts on relegation battle and his different centre-back partnerships

Kone has been impressive since his arrival at Sunderland, and relishes the battle to stay in the Premier League.

Sunderland's January signing Lamine Kone has said he doesn't mind playing in a relegation battle, and gets on well with both of his centre-back partners at the club so far.

Kone has played alongside both John O'Shea and Younes Kaboul but has failed to help keep a clean sheet for the Black Cats since his £5 million arrival from Lorient. 

The Frenchman is quoted in the Chronicle, saying: "I played the first few games with John O’Shea and the last two alongside Younes.

“I get on really well with both of them on and off the pitch, which is important.

“Things are going well, we’ve gelled together and we’ve got a good understanding.

“But it’s always frustrating as a defender when you’ve let goals in."

Clean sheets have been a problem for Sunderland this season, as leaking goals has kept them towards the bottom despite some decent performances that have perhaps deserved more for their efforts.

It's also important for the centre-back duo to have a good understanding, and that's something that seems to have developed quite quickly with Kone and whoever he plays with. 

Sunderland are currently two points adrift from safety with eight games to go and need to start getting wins on the board, and the situation the club found itself in when Kone arrived seems to be one that he's at ease with.

He added: “I’ve been in a similar situation before and I have the experience under my belt. It certainly isn’t something that scares me.

“I signed here with Sunderland to help the club stay in the Premier League.”

Undoubtedly, as has been highlighted by manager Sam Allardyce on numerous occasions, the club needs to start keeping some clean sheets, and Kone is going to be key to that. If they manage to keep things tight at the back then they are bound to pick up points and enhance their chances of staying in the division. 

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