Sunderland defender Jan Kirchhoff claims the side need to start keeping clean sheets if they are to survive the drop.
The January signing has helped see a turnaround in fortunes although their inability to keep a clean sheet continues to haunt them.
Ahead of the massive Tyne-Wear derby game on Sunday, Kirchoff has called for shut-outs to be their number one priority going into games, especially against arch-rivals Newcastle who have a dreadful scoring record.
The German told the Echo: Â“We need to get clean sheets. Everyone can see that we create chances.
Â“IÂ’ve seen that in every game since IÂ’ve been here, but we donÂ’t manage to stay strong enough in defence and get a clean sheet.
Â“We defend well and weÂ’ve got a good shape, but then we give the ball away in bad situations.
Â“I think when youÂ’re down at the bottom of the table, though, sometimes you just have bad luck.Â”