Sam Allardyce explains why Fabio Borini has not been starting for Sunderland

Fabio Borini celebrates scoring his dramatic, late leveller against Palace in midweek

Fabio Borini celebrates scoring his dramatic, late leveller against Palace in midweek

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Fabio Borini will be an automatic pick in the Sunderland starting XI if he remains among the goals, insists Sam Allardyce.

Borini netted a stunning third goal of the season in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace to rescue a point for Sunderland after being introduced from the bench with 10 minutes to go.

The Italian has found first-team opportunities limited over recent weeks, with on-loan Trabzonspor man Dame N’Doye preferred out wide, despite being a central striker by trade.

That has prompted many supporters to question why Borini – in contention to start at Southampton today – has been left out.

But Sunderland boss Allardyce stresses that the Black Cats have taken five points in the four games while Borini has been absent from the starting XI and says the £10million summer capture from Liverpool will be involved if he continues to contribute on the scoresheet.

“Like every player, he feels like he should be starting, but the bottom line is we have had one our best runs of the season, winning three, drawing three and losing three,” said Allardyce.

“I look at the performances of the other players, and they have stayed in.

“Fabio has made a mark by the quality of his goal, but we need more goals from everybody.

“He has got to be patient to get back in because the quality of player has increased (since the January transfer window).

“But if Fabio can continue to score goals, he will stay in the team.”

N’Doye also got on the scoresheet against Palace, with £9m January signing Wahbi Khazri opening his Sunderland account in the previous home game against Manchester United.

Top scorer Jermain Defoe is the one who has endured a lean spell over recent weeks, with the 33-year-old netting just once in his last six games.

But Allardyce says the goals need to be shared among the attacking players, if Sunderland are to beat the drop.

“The frontline players are the ones responsible for converting the chances and Fabio scored a very nice goal and got us a very precious point,” added Allardyce.

“Dame got off the mark with his goal, Wahbi has scored and creates more than anyone else in terms of assists.

“Up there, we have got to try to create more chances, and, at the other end, we have to try to concede fewer goals.

“It’s not rocket science!”