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The former Manchester United defender claims that regular football is the key to his teammates finding their best form, as the Black Cats struggle with one win in 15 league games

Sunderland defender John O'Shea feels that that a long run of games without an international break is the key to bringing the best out of his team-mates.

The Black Cats made a number of signings over the summer, including Adam Johnson, top-scorer Steven Fletcher and the loan acqusition of Danny Rose.

And O'Shea believes that a consistent run of matches without too many distractions will help the new players gel with the squad and find their best form.

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"With most teams if they have signed new players, you want the new players getting a run of games to really be showing what they are capable of," he told the Daily Mail.

"Now over the next few weeks, fingers crossed, with a few bodies coming back as well, we will be able to go on a stronger run than we have been doing.

"We have not been losing games - obviously we lost against [Manchester] City but we should have more wins on the board than what we have."

The Irish international also spoke of the importance of getting Sunderland's key attacking players – the likes of Stephane Sessegnon, Johnson and James McClean – involved in the game a little more.

He added: "We have to try to find some other ways either of getting them into the game a little bit more. That's very obvious, what we have to try to do.

"When you are a confidence player and you are trying a few things and they don't come off for you, it takes a really strong character to go and try to do that again the next time around.

"But I have got confidence in the players and I feel we are capable of doing that."

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