Vito Mannone eyeing Sunderland shut-outs


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Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone has admitted a failure to keep any clean sheets this season is driving him “crazy” and he has called for an improvement.

Sunderland, who are priced at 1.53 to be relegated, have managed just three clean sheets this season and all of those came when former stopper Costel Pantilimon was between the sticks.

Pantilimon has since departed for Watford and Mannone has been installed as the regular number one as they look to climb out of the relegation zone.

Mannone has failed to keep a clean sheet in eight outings this season and the last time he ended a game without conceding was back in September 2014.

Boss Sam Allardyce, who took over from Dick Advocaat in October, has stressed the importance of tightening up at the back if they are to retain their top-flight status, and Mannone has admitted it has been an issue.

The former Arsenal man believes the team as a whole needs to take responsibility and has called for them to pull together.

Mannone said: “For me, I’m going crazy! We’re desperately trying to get one [a clean sheet], but we’re finding it tough to get it. I’m making a few saves to keep us in the games.

“But it’s the work of the whole team, from the strikers through to me. All 11 players have to be concentrated on not giving cheap goals away.

“The manager wants the basics right, the clean sheets first and then build from there.

“That’s what he’s done in his management career for the last 20-odd years. We need to do that.”

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