Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has warned midfielder Lee Cattermole that he needs to alter his style of play to avoid further damaging disciplinary problems.
The 22-year-old has already been red-carded twice this season, leaving Bruce with much to ponder after making Cattermole captain of the Black Cats.
He told The Chronicle: "Lee has reached a defining moment in his career and it is up to him now to make sure he responds the right way.
"He is a good player and a fantastic competitor, but you simply cannot go around picking up the number of bookings and yellow cards he has in the last few seasons and be an effective force at this level.
"Lee is at a similar stage of his career to the one Patrick Vieira found himself in early in his time at Arsenal.
"Vieira has been a wonderful midfield player, someone who can control and dictate a game.
"I remember, though, he had terrible disciplinary problems and at one stage he collected two reds in almost back-to-back games.
"He had to go away and think about his game - he did that and came back a better player for it.
"Lee needs to do that. It is vital he does, because he cannot keep on going the way he is going."