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Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is unhappy with a two-week wait between games due to the international break.
The Black Cats remain in the drop zone after Newcastle grabbed a late-equaliser in Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby to rescue a point and leave Allardyce to rue what might have been.
Back-to-back home games follow the international break when West Brom and league leaders Leicester visit the Stadium of Light, but Allardyce is frustrated at having to wait for the games due to 'stupid friendlies'.
“We’ve got two home games coming up, although we’ve got two weeks to wait for it because of stupid friendlies and international games,” Allardyce said. "You have to put up with that.
"We had to wait two weeks for the Newcastle game when we didn’t want to."
Allardyce has lost six players to the international break and he is worried at the prospect of losing any one of his first-team regulars to injury.
"And now we’ve got to wait another two weeks, with international players going away, when there’s a chance they’ll get injured," he stated.
"Part of the reason why we’re performing so well at the moment is we’ve kept most of the players fit since the turn of the year.
"We’ve got them fitter, performing better and the new players have made a difference.
"We’ve just got to do that last little bit to get more enjoyment out of playing well, and that’s by winning."