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The Black Cats defender insists the club can target a stylish finish to what has been a difficult season after pulling six points clear of the relegation zone

John O'Shea is targeting four more wins as Sunderland enjoy a new lease of life under boss Paolo Di Canio.

Following victories over Newcastle and Everton in their last two games, the Black Cats are now six points clear of the relegation zone with four games remaining. One more victory would take their points total to 40, and virtually guarantee their Premier League status.

However, brimming with confidence following their recent run of form, O'Shea believes the club can target a victory in each of their remaining fixtures.

"The next four games, the performances that we have shown, we are confident going into these matches," the Ireland international told reporters.

"But first and foremost, we took the Chelsea step - we were unlucky we didn't get a point at least; we focused on Newcastle, we got the three; we focused on Everton, got the win, and we are just focusing on Villa.

"If we can get something down there, hopefully that should see us across, but we have got two home games then against Stoke and Southampton and a tough away game, so the sooner the better, as they say."

Following Di Canio's appointment, Sunderland have picked up six points from a possible nine. The Italian has implemented a gruelling training regime at the club, and days off have become a thing of the past, but O'Shea has no complaints about the busy schedule.

"Look, the lads would have fully taken to it - they might not have been happy deep down inside, but if it meant keeping your place in the Premier League, the lads wouldn't have any days off," he insisted.

"There's never a problem like that. We are paid to be professional enough like that, that's never going to be an issue."

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