LIAM Bridcutt says Sunderland need to finish 2014 with a bang after being plagued by a succession of draws.
Sunderland have finished all-square in four of their last five games, with no side in the Premier League drawing as many as the Black Cats this season.
A two-point haul from a tough run of games against Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool has been a more than reasonable return, particularly when those three encounters were squeezed into an eight-day spell.
But midfielder Bridcutt, handed only his second league start of the campaign at Liverpool last weekend, knows it is victories which will give Sunderland real traction in the top flight table.
Third-placed West Ham visit the Stadium of Light this weekend, followed by the Tyne-Wear derby and games against bottom half peers Hull and Aston Villa, before the end of the year.
Bridcutt said: “We want to put points on the table and I think the next run of games, we’ll be looking to win them.
“I think most people would be happy with two points from the three games against Chelsea, City and Liverpool.
“But we know we can do better.
“We’re not that happy with the direction we’re going in, because we want to win games.
“That’s how high we set our standards.”
Sunderland’s inability to convert one point into three has stemmed from a lack of potency in the final third.
Only Villa and second bottom Burnley have scored fewer than Sunderland this season, with the Black Cats mustering just 13 goals in 15 top flight outings.
But Bridcutt does not believe it is anxiety which is at the heart of Sunderland’s goal problems.
“All we need to do is finish off our game,” added the £2.5million January signing.
“Defensively, we’ve been spot on and at Liverpool on Saturday, we played some really good football at times.
“We just need the goals to come. It’s not a case of nerves. We just need that bit of quality because week by week, we’re getting there.”