Sunderland boss Keane: Relegation battle wide open

Sunderland chief Roy Keane insists it is still too early to write anyone off in the battle against relegation from the Premier League.

The Black Cats' victory against relegation rivals Wigan last weekend lifted them to 14th in the table.

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He told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: "You can't say that anybody has gone just yet.

"Obviously, Derby are struggling but I won't write anybody off until they are mathematically relegated.

"You still have a chance until the mathematics tell you otherwise."

Fulham are second-bottom with 19 points, while Reading currently occupy the third relegation place with 22 points.

Sunderland are four points and four places above the drop zone but are still very much involved in the struggle for survival, along with the bottom three and Birmingham, Wigan and Bolton.

Newcastle and Middlesbrough, who have 28 and 29 points respectively and occupy the two places just above Sunderland, could also find themselves sucked into the relegation battle.

Keane said: "You have to expect the teams down at the bottom to pick up one or two points along the way. Fulham proved that by beating Aston Villa the other week.

"Some people were perhaps surprised that it came against Villa, but I wasn't particularly surprised - you can get good results against anyone.

"We just have to focus on ourselves and get points on the board. If we do that, then whatever the other teams do is irrelevant."

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