Lee Johnson has previewed Saturday’s Sky Bet League One visit to Cambridge United, claiming his side must look to straight away impose a control on the game.
The trip to the Abbey Stadium – a ground Johnson is very familiar with having been born in nearby Newmarket – provides another chance to win on the road, after two points were dropped at Shrewsbury Town in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw.
“We have to look to control the game, as well as penetrate and create chances,” the Head Coach said.
“Cambridge and the Abbey Stadium I know very well, having been a ballboy there as a kid – I know all the features of the ground. It’s a tight and compact stadium and I hear it’s a sell-out, so the atmosphere will be a good one.
“There is no question that we’ve not been at the top of our form, but pressure is external. Saturday provides another opportunity, and we want to claim that total of seven points in a week.”
Johnson explained that he, his squad and his staff have analysed the midweek point extensively since Tuesday, with lessons to be learnt and positives to be built from heading into the weekend.
“We’ve looked at the Shrewsbury game objectively – what went well and what didn’t go well.
“Whilst we had 20-odd shots, a lot of them were nowhere near the standard we want. Our build phase was excellent, but I thought we weren’t as good down the right as we were down the left.
“We were hit by a sucker-punch from a 10-15-minute sloppy patch, but we want to be better and we’re working to be better. The Ipswich game was important against a very good side, but then moving into Tuesday, we let ourselves concede after a good start.”
The gaffer is under no illusions of the expectations on Wearside, and observed the recent results as having the potential to embark on a healthy unbeaten run.
“When you come to a club like Sunderland in this league, you know what to expect.
“We’re just really working relentlessly hard to improve the elements of our performance that we need to, so that we can hit a really good run.
“I’d like to look at it from a positive point of view that we’ve started a little run, and that we can maintain that unbeaten run and achieve more wins for the foreseeable future.”