CARLOS Cuellar says Sunderland have to be ready for a physical and aerial bombardment from Stoke City tonight.
But he warns that the Potters are not just one dimensional and the Black Cats also need to be wary of players like his former Glasgow Rangers’ team-mate Charlie Adam.
Adams was at Ibrox from 2004-09 before catching the eye at Blackpool and earning himself a £9m to Liverpool before a £5m switch to the Britannia Stadium last summer.
This season has not been a special one for the midfield maestro but he has just run into a rich vein of form at the right time for the midlanders and Cuellar knows the damage the Scot can do.
“We know how Stoke play. We know they are dangerous from free-kicks and corner kicks,” the Spaniard said.
“They have very tall players – and not just Peter Crouch – to exploit that.
“But even after that – the physical side of things – they have good players like Charlie Adam who is very skilful and takes a very good free-kick.
“I played with him at Glasgow Rangers and he has a wonderful left foot, a real touch of quality, and a club like Liverpool doesn’t come in for you unless you are a top player, which is what Charlie is.
“Peter Crouch is always the player everyone focuses on because he is so tall, unusually tall, but also a very good footballer.
“He likes to go up against the shortest player in a defensive situation and he can be very effective because their principal threat is the long ball headed on.
“But they also have quality too and Adam is a big part of that. It’s something we must not forget tonight.”
Sunderland’s defence will be challenged tonight and must respond after that 6-1 drubbing at Villa Park last week.
But Cuellar, who suffered arguably more than anyone that night, says the Black Cats are determined to be a different proposition this evening.
“It is in our hands to make sure there is no repeat of Aston Villa,” he said. “We know how we have to work and what we have to do to beat Stoke.
“Against Newcastle and against Everton – which was harder than Newcastle – we were prepared and we were ready and we made it count for us.
“We were prepared against Villa too but the plan did not work for us that night.
“We have to make sure that this time our plan and our execution of the plan, is perfect.”