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The veteran Black Cats defender has called for his side's performances to improve if they are to avoid being dragged into a Premier League relegation dogfight this season

Sunderland defender John O'Shea has called for his team-mates to find some consistency in the Premier League.

The Black Cats currently sit just five points clear of the relegation zone having lost their last three league fixtures, and the 31-year-old has insisted his side's indifferent form must be corrected.

"Consistency is the big thing we have to get back here," he told the Northern Echo

"We are consistent about being inconsistent at the minute and that's something we have to change.

"There's a lot of things you can do during the week to improve your chances of becoming more consistent. Taking that first chance in the game, stopping that striker for the first time in a game."

GOING DOWN?
12/1 Sunderland 12/1 to be relegated this season with Coral
The Republic of Ireland international also underlined that Martin O'Neill's men are not taking the possibility of being relegated lightly.

"We are taking the relegation threat very seriously," he said. "We have come off in the last three games and thought 'how have we not got anything from these games'.

"The next thing you know there's eight or nine games left and we think 'here you go' relegation is not too far away. The sooner you get the wins on the board the better."

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