Martin O’Neill says that The Black Cats’ Craig Gardner “should have 10 league goals at the end of every season.”

Sunderland have managed to score just six goals in the Premier League so far this season.

However, O’Neill believes Gardner could prove useful to the side because of his talent in scoring goals.

He said to the Shields Gazette: “I feel Craig should have 10 league goals at the end of every season – regardless of the number of games that he plays. I mean of course assuming he plays upwards of 25, of course. It would be a bit much if he only played eight or nine times! But Craig’s eye for goals really could be a tremendous asset for us. He has a great shot, he gets into dangerous positions and he hits the ball as strongly and as truly as anyone in the Premier League.”

Last season, Gardner scored just three goals, starting 31 times. However, he was not in his preferred position, and he scored on many occasions for his previous team, Birmingham City.

However, the Sunderland boss is now expecting goals from him now he plays in his right position.

Martin O’Neill said: “Playing at full-back, he was unable to get into those forward advanced midfield positions. But now he is back in midfield, I will be looking for him to contribute some goals. We need goals from other sources, we know that. Steven Fletcher has made a very good start since joining us in the summer, but we can’t put all the goal scoring burden on one man. Other players have to share the load. At the moment, we are just not creating enough chances and that needs to change. We know that, we recognise it and we are working hard to find ways of improving it.”

Louis Saha has talked about how he and the team could be doing more.

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