Jermain Defoe has lifted the lid on Sam Allardyce's training regime at Sunderland - and how he is helping to change the culture.
Sports science, Prozone statistics and video analysis are now the norm at the Stadium of Light since Big Sam's arrival.
Defoe told the Echo: “The last two games are probably the fittest I’ve felt in a long time and I think that’s due to the training which we’re doing.
“I’m sure he’s done that at other clubs, with the intensity and the things we do in the gym."
Read the full in-depth interview here:
On-loan Sunderland stopper Jordan Pickford continues to receive rave reviews at Preston North End. The England Under-21 international kept a fifth consecutive clean sheet as Preston beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Deepdale.
That means he can equal a clean club record of most consecutive clean sheets on Saturday if he keeps out QPR at Loftus Road.
Good luck Jordan!
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Meanwhile, Black Cats defender Sebastian Coates has been called up by Uruguay for their upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Uruguay currently top the CONMEBOL standings and La Celeste take on Ecuador on November 12 at the Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa in Quito, with both nations putting their 100 per cent qualifying records on the line.
Coates will then face the only other team to win both of their opening qualifiers, Chile, in Montevideo on 17th November.
The top four teams will qualify automatically with the fifth-placed nation advancing to the inter-confederation play-offs.