SIMON Mignolet says Sunderland must not get too obsessed with Stoke City’s physical threat this weekend.
Much has been made of the aerial bombardment and physical challenge presented by the Potters – a challenge enhanced by the West Midlands’ side acquisition of Peter Crouch, Cameron Jerome and Wilson Palacios on transfer deadline day.
But Mignolet says he’s much more interested in what Sunderland can do in the game.
“I think it’s important we recognise Stoke’s strengths but don’t dwell on them,” he told the Echo.
“If we worry too much about what they might to do then we won’t be focusing on what we want to do and what we want to do is win the game.
“We are a good side, we just need a good result and the best way to get it is to make sure we give Stoke problems and concentrate on our strengths.
“We are at home and I’m sure we’ll have the crowd right behind us because they’ll appreciate as much as we do what an important game it is.
“We have to go out there, play positively and look to get the win which will give everyone a massive lift.”
Mignolet knows though he will have arguably more of a role to play if Sunderland are to be successful tomorrow than any other player in the side.
“Just about every one of their players is a big man – I think you have to be at least 6ft 4ins to get into their back line!
“They get the ball into the box quickly, they get their big men forward and you have to cope with the physical challenge.
“As a goalkeeper you’ve got the advantage of being able to leap and punch or use your hands but it’s an unusual game – you wouldn’t get this sort of game anywhere else in Europe I don’t think – it’s all about non-stop bombardment from first minute to last.
“But we won this fixture at our place last season and kept a clean sheet and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same again this Sunday.”