Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has admitted his array of forwards must be utilised higher up the field, in order to maximise the club's attacking potential.
The Black Cats have found goals hard to come by this season and are currently one of the Premier League's lowest scorers with just 28 goals. Striker Steven Fletcher has scored over a third of those, and O'Neill is keen to see winger Adam Johnson and the mercurial Stephane Sessegnon supplement the Scot, by placing them into more dangerous areas.
"We want to get further up the pitch if we can, so if we break up some of the other team's movements, then we are closer to their goal without having to go 40 or 50 yards," O'Neill told the Sunderland Echo. "It's always easier said than done, but it's something I'd like us to be able to do so wingers are not picking the ball up just outside our own penalty area.
"The less distance they have to travel, then the more pace they can generate to go at the full-back. If you start to sit back and defend on the edge of your penalty area, you only invite trouble."
Having been under intense pressure during the first half of Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Arsenalthe 62nd minute dismissal of Carl Jenkinson opened up the game for O'Neill's men, allowing them to commit more players forward and create chances. In what has been a constant theme for the club this season, the 65-year-old is again eager to see his team throw caution to the wind and take more risks.
"Sometimes you get pegged back in a game because the other team are overwhelmingly better than you and they force you back. Other times, you do it because you feel as if there's safety in numbers there. We want to get out of that."