Sunderland will get used to new system, says Brown

Wes Brown takes on Spurs' Mousa Dembele
Wes Brown takes on Spurs' Mousa Dembele

WES BROWN believes Sunderland will benefit from a week fine-tuning their new system on the training ground.

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet opted to make a radical change to accommodate the presence of new signing Jermain Defoe in the starting XI after switching to a 3-5-2 formation at Spurs last weekend.

While Sunderland played with three at the back for three games last season - none of which reaped any points - they have worked on a 4-1-4-1 set-up throughout the summer and during this current campaign.

There were promising signs from the fresh approach at White Hart Lane, but centre-half Brown believes working on the system in training for a full week should help Sunderland ahead of back-to-back home games against Fulham and Burnley.

Brown told the Gazette: “It will help when we’ve worked on that system more in training.

“You start to learn what Jermain likes best and the runs he makes.

“You start to see it more, even when we’re in a bit of trouble, he’ll make those runs.

“The wing-backs run a lot too, and they like getting forward, and they bring lots of options, so we’ll hopefully make the most of them.

“It was the first time we’d played that system this season last weekend.

“We were confident, but Tottenham are playing well. But at times we opened them up and could have scored two or three goals.”

This weekend’s FA Cup fourth round visit of Championship Fulham provides an inviting opportunity for Sunderland progress into the last 16 of the competition.

It may also prove to be a useful exercise prior to the following week’s crunch relegation clash against Burnley, with both sides lying just a point above the bottom three.

Brown added: “We want to do well in the cup.

“It’s a game where if we do play this system again, we’ll try to do it to the best of our ability and get through.”