Sunderland’s captain John O’Shea has challenged him and his team-mates to grab and to hold onto their first clean sheet in the Premier League this season when they play Stoke City in their next fixture next week.
A week tomorrow, the Black Cats will travel to the Bet365 stadium, with the agenda to return back to Wearside with at least a point.
The necessity of a clean sheet is high priority
The past two visits to Stoke, the Lads have drawn, and O’Shea speaking to the club's official website that a clean sheet is expected this time around as they try to claw themselves out of the bottom three after the international break this weekend.
The centre defender has also hailed Jordan Pickford for making the necessary step up in between the posts following an injury to Vito Mannoe and has said one day he will be a top-class goalkeeper.
“Pickers has been impressive, his kicking is quality at times but sometimes he has to calm himself down because the game is going so fast,” he said.
With the need to “keep control” of the game and mind because when it comes to pressure it can add all kinds of “tension”
The youngster will only grow with experience and if he can keep “control” that little bit extra he has the makings to be a “top-class keeper.”
The need to be “ready” is expected as they never know when the manager calls on them, after O’Shea recent comeback from injury David Moyes thought he was ready to play against West Brom.
In the mindset to “impress” and the desperate need for a clean sheet wasn’t to be, but the goal continues on as they are a big thing for the Lads to do.
He concluded: “If we can get that clean sheet then we are going to get chances to score so we need to keep working on that."