SIMON Mignolet registered his 10th clean sheet of the season against Wolves last weekend.
But the Belgian stopper knows it is at the other end of the field where Sunderland need to shine at Aston Villa tomorrow after five hours without finding the net.
Mignolet has already bettered last season’s tally of eight top flight shut-outs, with the 24-year-old three behind Manchester City’s Joe Hart – currently leading the race for the Golden Gloves prize awarded to the Premier League stopper with the most clean sheets.
While both Spurs and Wolves have failed to breach Sunderland’s defences in the last three games, the Black Cats have also drawn a blank at the other end.
Sunderland have been unable to find the net in each of their three outings since scoring three at Man City last month and Mignolet says that must change when they face relegation-threatened Aston Villa this weekend.
Mignolet told the Echo: “Everybody is doing their job in defence and we’re very pleased with that.
“Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet at Aston Villa but score a goal as well.
“We showed at Man City that we can score goals and hopefully we can score three at Aston Villa tomorrow.
“If you want to win games, you have to score a goal and the last couple of weeks have been tough for us to try to get a goal.
“It’s always dangerous if it stays 0-0 too, things can go either way. Luckily, Wolves didn’t score because they could easily have nicked the game last weekend which would have been even more disappointing.”
Mignolet is well aware that attention on tomorrow’s game will centre around Martin O’Neill’s return to Villa Park.
But the priority for the former St Truiden man is ending Sunderland’s four-game winless streak as they enter the final four matches of the campaign.
He added: “I don’t think we can worry about Aston Villa. Obviously for the gaffer and his staff it will be special going back there.
“But for us, we just have to try to concentrate on getting the three points.
“Everybody wants to win games, there’s a lot to play for and hopefully everyone stays focused for tomorrow.
“We’ve got enough depth in the squad to cope with fatigue and everyone is ready to play the games.
“We had a couple of games in quick succession, but we’ve got enough professionals to cope with that.”