Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Settled Defence Will Help Cats - Celustka

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Settled Defence Will Help Cats - Celustka

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter Sports Writer

ONDREJ Celustka insists Sunderland's defence will tighten up once Paolo Di Canio is able to name a settled back four.

The Black Cats have shipped 10 goals in their five league and cup games so far, and have yet to keep a clean sheet.

Full-backs Celustka and Jack Colback have been ever-present but, with new signing Modibo Diakite not fit to start the first game and skipper John O'Shea sitting out the last match through suspension, Di Canio has been forced to use three different centre-back combinations to date - and has only been able to name an unchanged back line on one occasion.

O'Shea is set to return for tomorrow's game at West Bromwich Albion, and Celustka hopes the back four will now have the opportunity to develop as a unit.

"There have been a lot of changes, but I can't say that I was more comfortable to play with one player than another," said the on-loan Trabzonspor right-back.

"Of course, when four defenders play together for a long time, there's a better connection between them.

"But in time, we'll get used to it and I hope we'll be better together."

Sunderland have picked up one point from their first four league games and, with demanding home games against in-form Liverpool and reigning champions Manchester United on the horizon, Celustka is under no illusions of the importance of tomorrow's trip to The Hawthorns.

Sunderland are desperate to record their first win of the season to climb off the foot of the table, and the fact that their opponents West Brom have also yet to win this season - and are immediately above the Black Cats with only one more point to their name - makes this an opportunity they need to exploit.

Celustka said: "It's a key game for us, we are not in a good situation and neither are they. …

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