Fabio Borini has called on his Sunderland team-mates to take advantage of Southampton’s “over- confidence” when they meet tomorrow.
Sunderland make the long trip to St Mary’s looking to end a difficult week with three points ahead of another two-week break.
Borini, pushing hard for a recall to the starting line-up, says the Black Cats have nothing to fear but say they need to be “clever” in their approach.
The 24-year-old praised the Saints for some of the football they have produced this season – but says their 2-0 reverse to AFC Bournemouth in midweek proves they are beatable.
Defeat in the south coast derby left Ronald Koeman’s side ninth in the Premier League, six points away from a European spot. They have suffered back-to-back defeats after going down 2-1 against resurgent Chelsea last weekend, having led.
And Sunderland’s Italian striker – who scored a superb injury-time goal to snatch a point against Crystal Palace on Tuesday – says they can be guilty of overplaying at times.
“Southampton have showed that they can be unbelievable this season but they can also be beatable,” said Borini. “They are confident players and sometimes they can be too confident.
“They are a good footballing side though, and it is a chance for us to play cleverly and win the points.”
Sunderland are without a clean sheet in 14 Premier League games ahead of tomorrow’s match at St Mary’s.
That is the longest current run in the top flight and the inability to keep a shut-out remains a huge source of frustration for players, fans and management alike.
Borini this week said he doesn’t care if the Black Cats play ugly football as long as they win and he insists Sunderland have the players to keep a clean sheet.
He added: “We have the ability to keep clean sheets as we have done it in the past but we showed we can score goals too.
“We just need to win games and focus on how to win games.”