Sam Allardyce has told the Chronicle that Jeremain Lens, Dame N’Doye, John O’Shea and Sebastian Larsson could all receive chances for Sunderland before the end of the season, but only if their teammates’ form dips.
Sunderland have put in some excellent performances recently, and it has meant that Allardyce has generally stuck by the same core of players.
The 61-year-old boss says that at the moment there is no way that any of Sunderland’s fringe players can break into his starting line-up, but he has not ruled out bringing them back in before the end of the campaign.
“There is not an avenue there for him [Lens] because the rest are playing well enough. It would be for Jeremain to take his chance if somebody drops their level,” Allardyce said.
“He might get a chance if somebody drops in performance. It’s the same for Seb (Larsson), Ola (Toivonen), Dame (N’Doye) and even John O’Shea.”
Sunderland’s displays have seriously improved recently, and they have proven more than a match for a number of sides.
The Black Cats have lost just two of their last eight Premier League matches, but they have not won regularly enough to start moving up the table.
Sunderland are currently four points adrift of safety, and their biggest game of the season is coming up at the weekend.
Allardyce’s men take on 17th place Norwich City on Saturday, and if they are beaten in that fixture it would be disastrous for their survival chances.