Bryan Oviedo says Sunderland have to win their remaining six home games and hopes that playing high-flying Aston Villa might suit the Black Cats.
Sunderland came under a heavy aerial bombardment from Millwall in their 1-1 Championship draw on Saturday.
While Steve Bruce’s third-top Villa side are likely to pose even more questions of Oviedo and his defence in tomorrow night’s Stadium of Light showdown, the Costa Rican left-back hinted that his team may be more comfortable playing on the counter.
Sunderland have struggled for wins all season at the Stadium of Light, but they performed well against Middlesbrough last time out.
Asked about the visit of Villa following Saturday’s Den draw, Oviedo said: “I think it will be a different game to this one.
“The two games are different, but maybe we will be more comfortable against a team that like to have the ball and might leave more space for us.
“We need to be focused on that game because we need to win all of our games at home now.
“That starts on Tuesday.
“We know it is a very important game.
“I think Aston Villa are a good team for us to play against. They play like a Premier League team, and hopefully that will be good for us.
“We need to be ready for that.
“They are a good team, and they are high up the table, so we know it will be a tough game, but we need to win.
“That is the only thing we have in our mind at the moment. We need to get a win.”
Oviedo, whose first-half goal against Millwall looked like it might set Sunderland on course for three crucial points, admitted there was frustration that three improved displays had yielded only two points for Sunderland.
Nevertheless, he says the manager and squad have been bouyed by finding more consistency in their displays.
The 28-year-old ex-Everton man said: “We have played quite well in the last few games, but we haven’t quite been able to convert that into winning and getting lots of points.
“The manager keeps saying though that, first, we have to look for a good performance.
“I think we are getting the performances now, we just need to take some more small steps forward.
“That will result in us winning the games, because I think we have been playing well.
“We have been very competitive against Bolton, Middlesbrough and Millwall.
“I think we played well in all of those games, but maybe the results weren’t quite what we needed.
“At the moment, though, we just have to make sure we keep at the same level of performance. We have to do that on Tuesday, and keep going.”