Michael Appleton verdict on why Sunderland draw so many games and reveals his plan to 'prey’ on under-pressure Cats
Michael Appleton has called on his Lincoln City players to ‘prey’ on the intense pressure facing Sunderland to win promotion this season.
The two sides meet at Sincil Bank Saturday with the Black Cats aiming to build on the 2-1 victory over MK Dons last time out.
It was a welcome return to winning ways for Jack Ross following the disappointing draws with Rotherham United and Bolton Wanderers.
Sunderland failed to win promotion last season partly down to the high volume of draws, while this season the Black Cats have already drawn four out of ten games 1-1.
Ahead of the game, Appleton said: "I think some of their draws since they've been in League One has been down to the pressure that they're under at times.
"Whether you go behind in a game or you're chasing it, with the quality that they have in their squad they've always got a goal in them.
"I think sometimes when they do go ahead in games, which is natural because they're human beings, there's a tendency to drop a little bit deeper and to back off expecting the opposition to come at them.
"By doing that you can find yourself in a situation where the pressure builds and you end up conceding.
"I said after the United game the other night we've got to prey on that expectation that they're under.
"They're a side that's expected to go up automatically we've just got to make sure that we apply the pressure at the right times,” he told Lincolnshire Live.
Appleton is expecting a difficult afternoon and has highlighted several dangermen in the Sunderland ranks.
He added: "They've got some very good individuals whether that be from a defensive situation with [Jordan] Willis or an attacking point of view.
"[Charlie] Wyke gives them something different and there's some decent players behind him.
"One that I'm very aware of in Chris Maguire who I've signed a few times in my career.
"They'll have different threats throughout the game and will bring great support.
"We'll have fantastic support which will bode well for a great game."