Sbragia demands a stubborn Sunderland

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Ricky Sbragia is hoping to take a leaf out of former boss Sam Allardyce's book as he attempts to make his Sunderland team harder to beat.

The 52-year-old Scot worked under Allardyce at Bolton where the current Blackburn boss closely monitored the way his side attacked their own set-pieces and defended those awarded against them, and Sbragia is doing exactly the same.

He said: "At Bolton, that was a massive thing, set-play situations - how many you could score from set-plays and how many you didn't concede from set-plays."

He added: "It was a big thing. They had a table on it of all the teams in the Premier League regarding set-play situations and the points won or lost from them.

"The other thing was, if you went one-up, could you see the game out, could you have that clean sheet mentality?

"The percentage of games you won from that situation, the percentage was really high when Sam was there.

"As a unit, we have got to push up more, we have got to stop giving silly little free-kicks away - that will help us - and stay on our feet a bit better.

"Overall, we just have to be more disciplined, individually and as a team.

"It is a problem, it is a concern to us and we have got to get out of that.

"We go ahead in games and really should get a win or a draw out of them, but there have been a lot of occasions when we have lost, and that's the most disappointing thing."

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Blackburn Rovers
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League

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