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No. 50: Emre Can, Liverpool

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Bramble keen to earn new deal

Titus Bramble remains optimistic he can earn a new contract with Sunderland, despite continued uncertainty surrounding his future at the Stadium of Light.

Bramble, 31, joined the Black Cats from Wigan Athletic in 2010, for a fee of £1 million. Out of contract in the summer, the former Ipswich defender was linked with a January move to relegation threatened Queens Park Rangers.

But the defender is unwilling to discuss speculation and his focus remains on current club Sunderland, even though he is unsure if he will be offered fresh terms by Martin O'Neill.

"In football you never know what is going to happen," he told the Journal. "I know I was linked with QPR but I am not focused on that. Sunderland is my team and that is who I am playing for. I will give 100% for Sunderland and that's all I care about.

"What happens in the summer, happens in the summer. I am happy and settled here. I am out of contract in the summer. It's up to the manager and the directors. I will happily sign a new contract here but it's out of my hands. I just have to play well and who knows? I want to give 100% for Sunderland and help the team up the table. That's my aim."

Afforded a run in the first team following an injury to summer signing Carlos Cuellar, Bramble has maintained his place in the side despite the former Aston Villa man returning to full fitness.

With January signing Kader Mangane also yet to make his Premier League bow, Bramble believes the run of games he has been provided is vital in terms of his ability to display his best form for the club.

"If you ask any player, you need a run of four, five or six games to start showing your best form and match sharpness," Bramble added. "If you only play a couple here and there you are not going to show any consistency. Any player wants to get a run of games in the team, whatever position they play."

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