WES Brown says Sunderland will be their own worst enemies if they continue to give away free-kicks so cheaply around their own penalty area.
The former Manchester United defender acknowledged in the wake of Saturday’s 1-0 derby defeat to Newcastle that the Black Cats need to defend set pieces better than they did Ryan Taylor’s match-winning free-kick.
But he was quick to make the point that Sunderland can avoid so much danger simply by showing a little bit more care and composure around their own box.
“The one thing the boss was trying to stamp out in the week before the game was set-pieces,” revealed Brown. “So that made it even more disappointing to lose to one.
“We need to concede less set pieces.
“As a defender, it’s a part of the game you work on, but we are giving away too many at the minute.
“Anything we can do to help stamp it out we’re going to have a look at.”
Brown admits that the defeat has really left Sunderland on the back foot and good performances are needed now to get the players onside with the fans again.
“It’s all about bouncing back now,” he said.
“I wasn’t here last season, but the lads seemed to do that after the Newcastle defeat.
“The lads are really disappointed at the moment.
“It’s never nice losing a derby, but we’ll get ourselves to bed and when we wake up we’ll all be focussed on the game.
“This isn’t going to knock us off course. It’s still very early in the season and it’s only one game.
“Yes, it’s a derby so it means that bit more, but I thought there were some positives, especially in the first half.
“If we had nicked a goal, I’m pretty sure the game the game would have been different.
“Instead it was 0-0 at half-time and maybe they came out a bit better in the second half.
“We limited them to a few chances then a set piece did us.”