Boss David Moyes on how Sunderland can look to turn around their season
It took David Moyes and his Sunderland squad days to get over the crushing late 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace.
But the Black Cats boss is looking for his players to move on quickly and says the key to turning the season around is keeping clean sheets.
So far this season, Sunderland have failed to keep the opposition out on their way to shipping 12 goals in just six Premier League games.
It is a growing problem for Moyes as he looks to make his team more “resolute” at the back.
“It took more than a couple of days to get over the Palace defeat,” Moyes said.
“But we have to kick on.
“There were some good things in the game, but things went wrong when we conceded straight away after going 2-0 up and the third goal summed it up.
“We gave away a ridiculous free-kick and defended it terribly. We brought on our own pressure and mistakes.
“You always try to do the basics well but we haven’t done that in all the games. The biggest example of that was last week.
“In other games we have done it quite well.
“We have not kept a clean sheet and that is something that we have to start from.
“We need to be more resolute defensively and we have worked on it this week,” added Moyes ahead of today’s home game with West Bromwich Albion.
Moyes could make changes to his back four, with John O’Shea’s leadership and organisational skills badly missed in recent games.
There was a collective lack of concentration and organisation late on against Palace, with Christian Benteke scoring the winner deep in injury time.
Moyes has so far kept faith with Lamine Kone and Papy Djilobodji in central defence, but Jason Denayer and O’Shea are pushing for a start.
“We need to make sure we don’t lose any goals,” added Moyes.
“I would like us to give our supporters something to shout about, to create chances and score goals.
“But I want to start from a solid base defence-wise. We have had the attacking play, at times, although that has been nowhere near as much as I would have liked but we need to stop conceding goals.”
When asked about O’Shea, Moyes said: “John has been a really good player over the years and I would have no problem playing him at all.”
One thing Sunderland must eradicate from their game is nerves.
The Stadium of Light has so far proved an unhappy hunting ground for the Black Cats, with Middlesbrough, Everton and Crystal Palace all leaving Wearside with three points this term.
Moyes added: “In the main, you have to get yourselves in front in games.
“West Brom will play a bit deeper – that is their style. I don’t think they will come out of the blocks.
“They have scored five goals from seven from set pieces, so us not conceding set pieces will be important.”