Jack Shields’ Sunderland verdict

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THE next three fixtures are crucial. If we do well, we make ourselves comfortably clear of relegation. If we don’t, we are really in the dogfight.

Recently, the performances haven’t been too bad, but we’re losing games and this has to stop. I’m sure everyone would rather get a few scrappy results.

Fulham are always a strange team. At home, they play good football and are a match for anyone, but away they tend to really struggle.

Berbatov is a class act regardless. If we can keep him out of the game, we stop the main focus of their attack with his link-up play and technique.

For Sunderland, I think we need a couple of changes. I’d bring Bardsley in at right-back and move Gardner into midfield alongside N’Diaye. Drop Larsson.

I’d try Graham and Fletcher again because the more they play, hopefully the better the partnership gets. O’Shea and Bramble is a poor combination too, the lack of pace is frightening. I’d consider giving Mangane a chance.

Home games against Fulham never have many goals – but I think we might nick it.

Prediction: Sunderland 1 Fulham 0

Read the full jury in tonight’s Echo