SUNDERLAND’S goal drought needs to reach an abrupt end, even if the Black Cats need to sacrifice some defensive resilience, says Seb Larsson.
Gus Poyet’s men have drawn a blank in their last four outings and have found the net just six times in the Premier League since the turn of the year.
I think the longer the season goes on, these type of games become more and more important.
But Sunderland desperately need that miserly run to reach an abrupt halt in back-to-back games against two of their relegation rivals - starting with tonight’s trip to Hull City.
While Poyet’s ethos this season has been dominated by building from the back, Sunderland have now reached a make-or-break stage of the season where their paltry tally of just four league wins requires boosting to create some daylight with the relegation zone.
And midfielder Larsson says that however Sunderland line up at the KC Stadium tonight, they have to discover some attacking impetus.
The Swedish international said: “Being solid at the back for the majority of the season has been a positive for us.
“You don’t want to lose that. But at the same time, we’ve had to search for goals.
“You tinker with things. As a whole, the way the manager wants us to play football - whether it’s 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 - is pretty similar.
“But we know we need to score a few more goals. We know that.
“I think the longer the season goes on, these type of games become more and more important.
“You want three points, but you don’t want the teams in or around you to get three points.
“Of course these are going to be big games, no doubt about it.”
Hull produced a fourth successive win over Sunderland on Boxing Day, despite the Black Cats taking the lead after just 30 seconds.
But Hull’s Stadium of Light triumph was one of many examples of Sunderland’s failure to build on their scarce victories - the 3-1 defeat coming just five days after the Tyne-Wear derby success.
And both Poyet and his players continue to stress that the absence of back-to-back league wins has to be addressed over the final 11 games.
“Hopefully we’ve still got that run to come, but I think that’s been the problem,” added Larsson. “We’ve got ourselves into situations where we’ve had the chance to push on and get ourselves away from trouble.
“That’s been on quite a few occasions this season, but for whatever reason, we haven’t taken it.
“We might as well be honest about it, because the opportunities have been there.
“Now we need to take an opportunity again.”