Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce claims his team will work tirelessly on defensive drills over the next two weeks as they bid to avoid the drop.
The Black Cats, 1.50 to be relegated, this season have two weeks off after their game against Everton was postponed due to the Toffees’ FA Cup commitments.
With no game on the horizon until the Tyne-Wear derby against Newcastle on Sunday20 March, Allardyce is determined to work on his side’s flaws before it is too late.
The former West Ham manager was disappointed with his team’s defending last weekend when they threw away a 1-0 lead in the final moments of the game against Southampton. Sunderland have not kept a clean sheet since the end of November and Allardyce admits his side have a lot to work on.
While he insists the squad will also work on attacking aspects of their game, the 61-year-old is adamant that his team will be sick of defending by the time they play the Magpies.
He told the Chronicle: “The training programme will be different over the next two weeks and there’ll be more emphasis on us being technically better in possession.
“We have to improve our final third play in delivery. I thought we got to the final third on a huge amount of occasions on Saturday, but could have provided that final ball better.
“And of course, the most important thing for me, is the defending.
They’re going to be so sick and tired of the defending practices that they’ll be dreaming about it.”