Little wonder Simon Grayson was so keen to sign Tyias Browning.
The 23-year-old, who joined alongside Brendan Galloway soon after the new manager was appointed, will have no trouble putting his philosophy into practice.
I am more a defensive kind of player, I won’t be the type to go charging down the wingTYIAS BROWNING
While Grayson wants better football, higher tempo and creativity out wide, he has left his defenders in doubt that they will be asked to keep it simple at the back.
It is music to Browning’s ears, who could make his debut at St Johnstone this afternoon.
The defender has signalled his desire to take his place at the heart of Sunderland’s defence and help the Black Cats build a formidable rearguard.
He said: “I prefer centre-half, I don’t mind playing right-back but centre-half is more me.
“I am more a defensive kind of player, I won’t be the type to go charging down the wing,
“I would rather stay solid and I suppose if you don’t concede you don’t lose.
“The manager had a chat with me last season.
“He didn’t want me bombing on, he was of the mindset that if you don’t concede you don’t lose. That’s what he will want from me and the back four.”
While injuries have proven to be a source of frustration for Browning during his fledgling career, his time at Deepdale last season has at least given him experience of life in the notoriously challenging Championship.
That will be crucial for Grayson, who is preparing for the challenge ahead.
“The manager knows the Championship quite well,” said Browning.
“He knows it’s not like the Premier League where the full-backs are bombing on, it’s more a physical challenge. You want your full-backs next to your centre-halves. He knows what is required,
“We have the likes of myself, Aiden, James Vaughan who have played at this level so I am sure they will help.
“It is completely different to the Premier League, with the Tuesdays-Saturdays, it’s definitely more demanding and those who haven’t played in it will have to get used to it.
Browning has been understandably lifted by the arrival of Aiden McGeady, after watching his stellar form at close quarters last season. The Irish winger sparkled as Preston at one stage looked capable of pushing for an unlikely play-off spot.
He said: “I am excited, like all the Sunderland fans should be because Aiden McGeady had a terrific season last season and I am sure he will be a great addition to the team.”