Sunderland v Leeds United: Thomas Christiansen out to end Cats' unbeaten run and discusses Liam Bridcutt's future

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen.
Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen is well aware of the threats Sunderland will pose - but he's still aiming to end their unbeaten run.

The Dane took over at Elland Road during the summer and has yet to taste defeat during his spell in charge, picking up two draws and two wins.

Sunderland, also unbeaten, will be looking to put an end to that unbeaten record this weekend, and Christiansen knows the Black Cats will prove a stern opposition.

"It's going to be a tough game," he said, speaking at his pre-match press conference.

"There are no easy games in this league and we will face a very good opponent who have a lot of experience.

"They have taken good results so it will be a tough game, but I believe in my team and the possibility of taking the three points."

Yet despite being appreciative of Sunderland's strengths, the Leeds boss was keen to play down any talk of settling for a point from the Stadium of Light.

"Of course we have to focus on the opponent but the idea is to always go for the three points and doing what we do best," the Dane added.

"That will be the same situation."

One player who is unlikely to be involved at the Stadium of Light is former Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt.

The midfielder joined Leeds on a permanent deal last summer following a successful loan spell at Elland Road but could be on the move again with Championship rivals Nottingham Forest keen on Bridcutt, who captained Leeds last season.

Bridcutt, who struggled to make an impact on Wearside following a £2.5million switch in January 2014, is yet to feature for Leeds in the Championship this season and has only made one appearance as a second half sub in a Carabao Cup win over Port Vale.

Christiansen said he still believes in Bridcutt despite the ongoing transfer speculation, adding: "I have only just heard about this. I have spoken to him and I believe in him.

"He is a captain for me, even if he is not in the team."

Striker Chris Wood continues to be at the centre of intense transfer speculation, with Premier League Burnley keen on the forward who is set to lead the line against Sunderland.

Leeds have already rejected two bids in excess of £10 million bid for the 30-goal hitman and Christiansen is determined to keep hold of his star man, with Leeds offering him a new deal.

He added: "My intention is to keep Chris with us, I believe more in the player than the money.

"I believe he can help the team finally achieve our goals. The club have made a big effort to keep him.

"I have told him to keep focused on what he has to do, the game against Sunderland, forget about all of the rumours and try to do his best on the pitch."

Both Sunderland and Leeds have been tipped as promotion hopefuls this year but Christiansen is unsure how much that pressure will affect the outcome of Saturday's televised clash.

"It depends on how you manage that pressure, I like to have the pressure," he admitted.

"A team like Sunderland, who have just come from the Premier League, they want to come back as soon as possible.

"Of course they will have more pressure but at the end it will be decided on the pitch.

"I believe that the team who make less mistakes will take the win."