Mathieu Flamini tips Vito Mannone to find form for Sunderland

Mathieu Flamini backs Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone to return to his best form following his recent errors.

Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has backed Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone to find his top form in the near future.

Mannone's place in the Sunderland side is believed to be under threat due to his recent displays, and the spotlight was on the Italian once again last weekend as he made a vital error in the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.

However, his former teammate Flamini is certain that he can become a dependable option for Black Cats boss Gus Poyet as the speculation surrounding his place in the team continues.

"He is a friend of mine," the Frenchman is quoted as saying by the Northern Echo. "It was a difficult time for him. The confidence in the Sunderland team was not high.

"I played with him at Arsenal. He is a great keeper and a great guy. I felt for him, but he will bounce back."

Poyet has hinted that Costel Pantilimon could replace Mannone for Saturday's game against Crystal Palace.

Despair for goalkeeper Vito Mannone and the Sunderland defence as Sadio Mane of Southampton scores the eight goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Sunderland at St Mary's Stadium on October 18, 2014
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