JACK Colback says Sunderland know to expect an aerial bombardment tomorrow, with Stoke City boasting the likes of 6ft 7in Peter Crouch and former Black Cats’ powerhouse Kenwyne Jones in their attacking options.
And he says that although new manager Mark Hughes might be want to change Stoke’s renowned direct style of play, the likelihood is that the danger will still come from the air at the Britannia.
“Every team has to play to their strengths and, with Stoke, the big men up front is something they can obviously use to their advantage,” midfielder Colback told the Echo.
“When you’ve got Peter Crouch, you’re always going to be a danger in the air, and Sunderland fans know that Kenwyne Jones, on his day, can unsettle any defence.
“I trained alongside Kenwyne for a while and anyone who has done will tell you how tough it is to defend against someone of that size and strength who is also a very good footballer.
“We know about them both though, they are big, physical threats and we will have to be aware of that, especially on set-pieces.
“But that isn’t the only threat they have and I’m sure Mark Hughes will be looking at side of things which can make Stoke dangerous.
“From our own point of view, we’ve just got to make sure we go there and genuinely compete and then, if we can create a platform for ourselves to get into the game, we’ve got to go on from there.”
Colback believes, though, that Sunderland are showing real signs of turning a corner after their disastrous start to the season.
And he says the incentive for the Black Cats is obvious going into tomorrow’s game against a side just two places above them in the table.
“We’re only three points behind Stoke, so obviously a win would put us level on points with them, which would be a heck of an achievement after the start we had,” added Colback.
“It just goes to show how a few results can start turning things around for you.
“We’re not daft though – we know we’ve still got so much to do.
“But if we can bring anything back from Stoke this weekend, it will be a big help and we have to target getting something out of a game against a team which is down at the bottom with us.”