Sunderland AFC news: Win target revealed, Allardyce blasts two-week break, Dutch call-up for Van Aanholt

Patrick van Aanholt has been called-up to the Dutch national squad
Patrick van Aanholt has been called-up to the Dutch national squad
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Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has blasted the reasons behind another two-week break from competitive action for his side.

The Easter weekend will see national side's play friendlies ahead of Euro 2016 and the Sunderland boss has been heavily critical of another enforced break for his side.

By the time Sunderland host West Brom at the Stadium of Light on April 2, Sunderland will have played just one game in 28 days.

Allardyce said: "It has been a long wait to play this one [Tyne-Wear derby] and now we have another God-damn two-week break for football associations to make money with stupid friendlies.

"We have to wait and then we have two home games.

"Those coming up are the ones that are really going to have the pressure on us, like we had yesterday.

"If we can handle the pressure like we did yesterday, which is massive pressure, then the way they performed and handled it was superb for most of the game."

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Jan Kirchhoff - who was the man of the match in the Tyne-Wear derby - insists the club's top flight status remains firmly in their own hands.

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Allardyce, meanwhile, has revealed the number of wins his side need in order to stay up this season.

The 1-1 draw with Newcastle United in the Tyne-Wear derby has left the club two points from safety heading into their final eight games of the Premier League campaign.

"Draws are not going to be good enough now. We have to go and win four out of the last eight," said Allardyce in today's Sunderland Echo.

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Meanwhile, Sunderland full-back Patrick van Aanholt has been called up by Holland for the friendlies against France and England, the Dutch football association has announced.

Van Aanholt - who has impressed since Sam Allardyce took charge last October - and Stoke midfielder Ibrahim Afellay have been drafted in by Holland coach Danny Blind after he saw five players withdraw from his squad through injury.

It was announced on Sunday night that Erik Pieters, Newcastle United right-back Daryl Janmaat, Ron Vlaar and Jurgen Locadia had pulled out, and they were joined on Monday by Davy Propper.

Stoke left-back Pieters missed Saturday's Premier League trip to Southampton with a calf complaint while Newcastle right-back Janmaat was replaced midway through the second half of Sunday's derby draw with Sunderland.

According to a KNVB statement, Janmaat is struggling with a knee injury.

AZ's former Aston Villa centre-back Vlaar has a calf problem while PSV duo Locadia and Propper are struggling with ankle and foot injuries respectively.

Blind initially only called up Feyenoord defender Rick Karsdorp as a replacement, but on Monday it was announced Van Aanholt and Afellay had been brought in as well, leaving the Holland coach with a 23-man squad for the upcoming friendlies.

Holland play France at the Amsterdam ArenA on Friday before meeting England at Wembley four days later.

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