Sunderland striker Darren Bent has admitted the whole team needs to defend better if they are to break their current run of dismal Premier League form.
The Black Cats have failed to win any of their last 12 league games and conceded a last-minute equaliser to draw 1-1 with rock-bottom Portsmouth in midweek.
"We've got to address our issues on the pitch," declared the England striker. "We're far too open at the moment and I think it's a problem.
"We aren't defending well as a team and, if we want to start kicking on and pushing up the league, we need to defend better as a team.
"It's not just on defenders and midfielders, it's on the whole team.
"Strikers need to communicate better with the midfielders and defenders, as well as the goalkeeper. It's a thin line at the moment."