GUS POYET admits that Sunderland’s goal return will become a concern if their run of blanks continues.
Sunderland recorded a goalless draw for the second successive Premier League outing on Saturday, and have netted just five times in their six top-flight games this season.
While the Black Cats’ performance was much-improved against Swansea, Sunderland spurned the two best chances of the game, with both Connor Wickham and Steven Fletcher failing to find the target with second-half headers.
Head coach Poyet says Sunderland have been trying to re-adapt, with the make-up of the front three altered by the departure of last season’s loanee Fabio Borini, but he knows his side need to get back on the goal trail.
“I think in the last year, that’s why we’ve played with a 4-3-3,” said Poyet.
“One winger and the other two were the strikers, because Fabio was doing a terrific job on the left, but he was playing as a striker.
“We haven’t found that formula yet. We tried in the beginning (of the season) with Connor (Wickham) and Fletch (Steven Fletcher).
“Now we’ve got more wingers than before.
“We’re trying to look for the formula that’s going to work and then you need to get a break.
“The difference on Saturday might have been me making the change three minutes before (Angel) Rangel got sent off.
“If that happens before, then you don’t take off Connor and keep the two strikers in the box.
“That’s football. When it doesn’t go for you, you need to accept it.
“But that’s the way I want to see the team, the way I want to play, and the future will tell whether I’m right or wrong.
“I can’t put the ball in the net.
“I wanted to go in the the box for the last corner, but that is not allowed!
“That is the best moment to score for a striker to have a chance in the last minute with a corner coming in.”
However, at the other end of the pitch, Sunderland look a far more competent outfit after back-to-back clean sheets.
Swansea were limited to efforts from long range on Saturday, with the visitors mustering just one shot on target.
“Like any team, it starts from the back, especially a team that has had so many problems in the last two or three years,” added Poyet.
“You need to be competitive, organised and difficult to beat – and slowly start to play football my way, understanding the game and, of course, creating chances.
“I was expecting Swansea to be pushing us and keeping the ball for long periods.
“But we worked out how to stop them playing and the players were outstanding in how they worked them about.
“That’s a good part of the game, the boring one, the tactical one where you’re running without the ball.
“But to play against Swansea, you need to do that first to then create your own chances.”
We have launched a FREE football app covering Sunderland AFC, Newcastle United and Hartlepool United.
For all the latest news, gossip and match coverage straight to your mobile and tablet, download the Football Echo now from here: