Jason Denayer insists Sunderland will approach tomorrow’s daunting trip to Liverpool with ambition rather than trepidation.
The Black Cats ‘Mr Versatile’ says there is no point going to Anfield and, to quote the vogue saying “park the bus”.
Sunderland, just a week after hauling themselves off the bottom of the pile, now must face a Reds team going all out for the Premier League title (kick-off 3pm).
Jürgen Klopp’s side are second in the table, only a point behind Chelsea, and have rattled in 17 goals at home, conceding only four.
But Denayer says there can be no negativity for the Cats, either in their minds or their tactics.
“We need to play like we played against Hull, because if we stay defensive they are very good at breaking you down and scoring,” said the 21-year-old.
“We need to try to score goals ourselves and see what happens.”
Denayer says Sunderland need to carry on where they left off from the back-to-back victories over Bournemouth and Hull, matches he played key roles in.
Victor Anichebe and Jermain Defoe have scored five goals in those two games and the Belgian international believes there is more to come.
“They play very well together and they are very important to us,” said the on-loan Manchester City man.
“If they keep on playing like this we are going to get a lot of points, because they have really made a difference.
“It is very important to have strikers like these.”
Denayer says there is full respect for the Reds, rating them as championship candidates, while identifying Philippe Coutinho as their danger man.
“Liverpool have the capacity to win the title,” said the player who could be used in defence or midfield tomorrow.
“But I think it is too early to say it will be Liverpool are going to win, or someone else is going to win.
“They do have the capacity in the team to do it.
“Coutinho is very, very good – he is very technical, he is comfortable with the ball, he passes well.”
Denayer says he is fully fit, which is just as well, considering the task in front of him and his team-mates.
He was a late casualty in the 3-0 win over Hull but insists he is fine.
“It was only a slight injury, and now it is OK,” he said. “It is not a problem.”
Denayer explained that he did not consult with fellow Belgian international Simon Mignolet about joining Sunderland, even though the keeper made almost a century of appearances for the Black Cats ahead of his big-money move to Liverpool.
“I didn’t speak to him before I came here, I don’t really know him, outside the national team,” said Denayer, who said he only consulted friend Adnan Januzaj after his loan switch from Man United.
“Adnan called me to say ‘come, everything is good here’.
“I’ve known Adnan for a very long time, so I just spoke to him before I joined.”
Denayer has impressed in a variety of roles since his season-long move from the Etihad, but says he has given no thought about the prospect of staying permanently.
“Right now I just want to stay focused on this season,” he said.
“As for what happens next season I will wait until the end of this one.”