Sbragia wants more discipline

13 February 2009 06:01
Ricky Sbragia wants Sunderland to be more disciplined as he seeks to steer his side to Premier League safety.

The Black Cats have leapt up to 11th in the league after taking seven points from their last three games against Stoke, Newcastle and Fulham.

While the Wearsiders are now seven points above the drop zone, Sbragia is taking nothing for granted.

In particular, he has seen his team give up leads in recent weeks in the draw against Newcastle and the losses against Aston Villa and Blackburn and he wants to stamp that out.

Sbragia has the experience of working under Sam Allardyce at Bolton and saw how the Trotters were good at keeping leads.

Allardyce also closely monitored the way his side attacked their own set-pieces and defended those awarded against them, and Sbragia is doing exactly the same at the Stadium of Light.

Massive thingThe Sunderland boss said: "At Bolton, that was a massive thing, set-play situations - how many you could score from set-plays and how many you didn't concede from set-plays.

"It was a big thing. They had a table on it of all the teams in the Premier League regarding set-play situations and the points won or lost from them.

"The other thing was, if you went one-up, could you see the game out, could you have that clean sheet mentality?

"The percentage of games you won from that situation, the percentage was really high when Sam was there."

The Black Cats are out of the FA Cup so are not in action this weekend, before travelling to the Emirates Stadium to play Arsenal next Saturday, and they will then travel to Liverpool on Tuesday, 3rd March.

Push upSbragia wants his side to be more disciplined for those games, saying: "As a unit, we have got to push up more, we have got to stop giving silly little free-kicks away - that will help us - and stay on our feet a bit better.

"Overall, we just have to be more disciplined, individually and as a team.

"It is a problem, it is a concern to us and we have got to get out of that.

"We go ahead in games and really should get a win or a draw out of them, but there have been a lot of occasions when we have lost, and that's the most disappointing thing."

Source: SKY_Sports