Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Celustka: Cats' Goal Must Be a Better Strikerate

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Celustka: Cats' Goal Must Be a Better Strikerate

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter Sports Writer

ONDREJ Celustka insists Sunderland must improve their strikerate if they are to stay up.

A disastrous start to the season has left the Black Cats propping up the table and fighting to cling on to their Premier League status - and new boss Gus Poyet has found himself having to tackle problems at both ends of the pitch.

Sunderland have conceded more goals than any other top-flight club, having shipped 24 in just 12 games so far.

They have scored just eight league goals - with only next-tobottom Crystal Palace, who have found the net seven times, scoring fewer.

Poyet has already taken steps to address Sunderland's defensive frailties and the back line has looked much more solid since Wes Brown returned from injury recently.

However, the Wearsiders now need to start scoring more goals, with Poyet keen for his five-man midfield to chip in and help out strikers Steven Fletcher and yetto-get-off-the-mark summer buy Jozy Altidore.

Celustka said: "It is absolutely right we have to improve front of goal.

"That is something we have talked about quite a bit - the need to be better with our offensive actions when we are in possession.

"We have seen a lot of the ball in recent games without looking like scoring many goals and that needs to change.

"People can talk about the goals we let in, and I understand that, but it is just as important we score more too."

With too many goals going in at one end and not enough at the other, Sunderland's - 26 goal difference is the worst in the division by far.

The Black Cats had to wait until their 11th game of the season to record their first clean sheet - which ironically came against Manchester City, who boast the Premier League's most potent attack.

Sunderland have still conceded an average of two goals per game and, coupled with the fact they are scoring at a rate of just one goal every one-and-a-half games, it is easy to see whey they are mired in a relegation battle. …

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