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Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Monday, 25 October 2010 11:38 UK

Sunderland goal drought concerns Steed Malbranque

Steed Malbranque
Malbranque has scored just twice in his Sunderland career

Sunderland midfielder Steed Malbranque has acknowledged striker Darren Bent needs more support if the club's low goal tally is to be improved.

The Black Cats have conceded just seven goals in nine Premier League games, but only scored eight themselves - five of which have been scored by Bent.

"We know we need to score more goals," Malbranque told BBC Newcastle.

"We are very strong defensively, which is a good thing, but now we need to be focused to score more goals."

The Wearsiders climbed to seventh place after the weekend's matches with Saturday's 1-0 home win against Aston Villa.

It was the Belgium-born playmaker's cross that Villa defender Richard Dunne turned into his own net to hand Steve Bruce's side all three points.

"I was very close to scoring in the last few games, and I need to keep up the hard work," Malbranque added.

"I'm very happy to play in this position, but it's the manager's decision, and I try to give the best for the team and try very hard to score some goals for the team."

Malbranque's arrival at the Stadium of Light came in July 2008 when he, Pascal Chimbonda and Teemu Tainio were signed by Roy Keane from Tottenham Hotspur.

Since then he has made 85 appearances for the club, scoring twice.



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