Wes wants solid show against Canaries

by Kate Smith

Keeping tight is high priority for defender.

Wes Brown is expecting an open game when Sunderland travel to Carrow Road to face Norwich City on Saturday.

Just four points separate the Black Cats from the 15th-placed Canaries, with Brown’s side having three games in hand.

City have been in good form on their own patch of late – going five games unbeaten at home – but Brown says the quest for points means Gus Poyet’s side won’t be heading to Norfolk to sit back.

Following last week’s draw with Crystal Palace, Poyet challenged himself to make the home point a good one by making further progress in the matches to come – starting with Saturday’s encounter.

“They’re at home and will be looking to win the game, but we want to do the same and we’re definitely not going there for a point,” he said.

“We’re going there looking to win and that’s what we’ve been focusing on all week.”

He added: “Four points from the two games [Crystal Palace and Norwich] would be a good return - if we play as we can then we’re more than capable of getting points.”

Brown has been a key figure since returning from injury back in October - Sunderland have registered shut-outs in exactly half of the 14 Barclays Premier League games the former Manchester United defender’s played this season.

Their defence has conceded an average of one goal per game with Brown in the line-up, with the England international forming an understanding with John O’Shea, Phil Bardsley and January arrival Marcos Alonso.

And keeping things tight is high on the priority list for Brown, who says solid defensive displays “always give the team a chance” to win games.

“From both my own and the other defenders’ point of view, that’s what we set out to do every game,” he added.

“I’ve been in and out for the last few games but when we’ve played together we’ve kept things pretty solid at the back.

“It’s vital that we keep on doing so for the remainder of the season.”

Following the trip to Norwich, Sunderland are back on the road in midweek as they face in-form Liverpool at Anfield.

Brown had a number of tussles with the Reds whilst with Manchester United and is looking forward to the challenge, but says the game will have to wait for now.

“At this stage of the season it doesn’t matter who you play; I think we can get points off the bigger teams too as long as we stay confident,” he said.

“It’ll be good to go to Liverpool, thought it’s a very difficult game as obviously they’re in great form at the moment.

“But we’ll think about the Norwich game first and then move on to the next one.”