Wes Brown has sent a warning to his teammates as they prepare for their trip to Arsenal at the weekend; keep concentration from the first minute, or they will punish you.
Sunderland’s match-up with the Gunners is important for both sides, with the Gunners and Black Cats enduring disappointing starts to their respective seasons.
And Brown insisted that while his side got away with a come-from-behind 2-2 draw to West Brom two weeks ago, they can’t repeat the same mistakes this time around.
"When you go to Arsenal, you have to keep it tight for at least the first 20 minutes," Brown told the Shields Gazette.
"We can't afford to get off to another really bad start like we did against West Brom.
"To be 2-0 down after five minutes gives you a mountain to climb. Thankfully we got back into that game, but if we start like that on Sunday, we've got no chance. We'll be looking to keep a clean sheet and hopefully drive on from there."
While Brown admitted the challenge of defeating Arsenal will be tough, he said that he believes Sunderland can take away three points from the tie and get their season back on track.
"Like ourselves, Arsenal haven't had too good a start to the season. They probably expected a bit more, just as we did,” he explained.
"What we need is a win to restore some confidence and lift us back up the table.
"Arsenal have quality players and it will be a very difficult game for us. But I'm really looking forward to it. I've had a couple of weeks without a game now and I'm raring to go."