Vito Mannone picks out two strengths Sunderland have

Sunderland's Vito Mannone celebrates

A strong base and their attacking strengths seem to please the Sunderland goalkeeper.

Sunderland's Vito Mannone celebratesSunderland's Vito Mannone celebrates

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone seems pleased with the progress the side are making during pre-season following a 3-0 win over Hartlepool United at Victoria Park. Jermain Defoe found the net twice, with Wahbi Khazri also getting on the scoresheet.

It looks as though it could be the last time the Sam Allardyce takes charge of the team as reports, including one from the BBC, indicate that he will be appointed the new England manager in the very near future. 

Sunderland manager Sam AllardyceSunderland manager Sam Allardyce

However, there are a couple of aspects to the side that the Italian seems pretty pleased with. While there is a lot of emphasis on the side working on fitness in his interview with Sunderland's official website, he does pick out two particular strengths.

He said: “We have got some great attacking forwards and I have always said this team has got a good base and I still think we have.

"We just want to get more minutes under our belts. Be ready and be confident, work on those small details and when we play a game we continue to build up towards our first Premier League game which is going to be very tough."

David Moyes has been strongly linked as the replacement for Allardyce, with the Daily Telegraph among the reports linking the Scot with the role, and the qualities that Mannone picks out are going to be vital if the Black Cats are going to have a strong season. 

Sunderland's Jermain Defoe in actionSunderland's Jermain Defoe in action

The side seemed to get stronger at the back towards the end of last season, and goals were coming from different areas of the side, while Defoe is a prolific forward that is capable of making a real difference to the side's season, and one particular young, exciting attacking threat in Duncan Watmore.

One little concern aside from the seemingly inevitable managerial change is that there has yet to be any new signings at the club, though depending on which way you look at it, it could be a positive for the new manager to have a transfer window entirely of his own making when it comes to incomings. 

Sunderland's Duncan Watmore in actionSunderland's Duncan Watmore in action

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