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The Toe Poke

Graham eyes prolific pairing with Fletcher

Sunderland striker Danny Graham believes he can forge a potent partnership with Steven Fletcher but believes Martin O'Neill may not always favour playing two strikers.

• Mignolet happy at Sunderland
• O'Neill hopeful over Brown return

Graham joined the Wearsiders in a £5 million deal from Swansea on deadline day in January but was forced to wait until last weekend's defeat to West Brom to earn his first start for the club.

Starting with Fletcher, Graham saw the makings of a prolific pairing in the future and hopes to play alongside the Scot more often.

"I understand the fans wanting us to play two up front but it is not their decision, it is the manager's decision and he will do what he feels right to win football matches," Graham told the Northern Echo. "He has brought me in and I want to play, Steven wants to play and so does everyone else."

"It is up to us to train hard and build on relationships in the team and see where it takes us. If we get a run of games going together I'm sure we will get goals. We want to get back to winning ways and we need to pick up points and give the fans a performance they have deserved over the last few weeks."

Since Graham's arrival Sunderland have not picked up a single point, a record the striker is keen to redress at home to Fulham on Saturday.

The Wearsiders currently sit 15th in the table, five points above the relegation places, but Graham is optimistic the team can get out of any trouble despite O'Neill recently admitting concern over the threat of the drop.

"We haven't won in three, but the fans have been right behind us," he said. "They've been superb and we'll need them from now until the end of the season.

"We've got ten games to get as many points as we can and we're focussed on looking up to where we could go rather than over our shoulders."


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