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Fletcher targets top-10 finish

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher believes the club are showing potential and that breaking into the top 10 is realistic goal for this season.

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Fletcher, 27, joined the Black Cats in the summer from Wolverhampton Wanderers and currently leads the club's scoring charts with eight goals already this campaign.

"The top 10 has to be an attainable target for a club like this," Fletcher said. "We've got some good players and if the manager can bring in a few more, we've got a great chance. You can feel the potential, especially when you consider that we took 5,000 supporters to Bolton in the FA Cup. So we've got the support we need and we've got the players, we just need to put some results together - and I think we will.

"The manager is a massive presence around the place. He's a very determined man. I saw that when I first came in and it's great working with him. He doesn't want to mess about. He knows what the team can achieve. We are showing it slowly, but we are getting there."

Elsewhere the club have also announced a partnership with South African side Bidvest West FC as they continue to invest in global partnerships.

Having recently forged similar deals with Ghanian side Kotoko FC, Belgian club Lierse SK and Spanish side FC Gava, the club have now confirmed their fourth international partner.

Speaking to the Kotoko Express, Sunderland's chief of international development, Gordon Chilsholm, revealed the club are intending to create a system involving a number of mutually beneficial partnerships.

"We are also working with Bidvest Wits FC of South Africa," Chisholm said. "What we are trying to do is to create a system where we can have a number of clubs involved and we can all help each other as regards players, sponsorships link up and we can get a good relationship.

"With this arrangement, all the clubs involved will benefit. It is therefore important that I am here to see at firsthand how things are done here and how the people work. I will be with Bidvest Wits in South Africa later in the month and all these will be geared at fostering the relationship that we are building in Africa."

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