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Joleon Lescott: 'My experience is an asset'

Sunderland defender Joleon Lescott says that his wealth of Premier League experience can help the side avoid the drop this season.

Sunderland defender Joleon Lescott has said that his wealth of experience in the Premier League can help the Black Cats to avoid relegation this season.

The 34-year-old, who joined up with David Moyes's side last month, has more than 300 top-flight appearances under his belt with Manchester City, Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa.

Lescott was part of the Villa side that got relegated last term, and also suffered a similar fate with Wolves in 2004, but he thinks that those failures will serve as useful assets in Sunderland's battle against the drop.

"It's not just relegation-battle experience, it is Premier League experience," he told The Chronicle. "I'm yet to meet a foreign player who doesn't say that this is the most physically demanding league they have played in, so the more experience of that you have, the better.

"We've been here before, but it is not going to be easy. It's not a given [that Sunderland will stay up], but we are fully confident that we can achieve [it]. It is a big challenge and the stakes are the same, but the lads have been in this situation before so hopefully I won't need to draw on my experiences last season – but if need be, I will do so.

"The lads know what needs to happen, they know we have to fight to the end."

Lescott, who joined Sunderland after three months with Greek side AEK Athens, made his debut in the 4-0 rout at Crystal Palace last weekend, coming on for the injured John O'Shea in the 57th minute.

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Sunderland manager David Moyes takes to the touchline before the English Premier League match between Sunderland and Everton at the Stadium of Light on September 12, 2016
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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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