'Dangers everywhere' - Sunderland star hails opponents Stoke City

Sunderland's Vito Mannone says that there will be dangers everywhere when his side take on Stoke City at the weekend.

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone says that Stoke City have dangers all over the pitch.

The two sides meet in Premier League action at the weekend and the Sunderland stopper is clearly taking nothing for granted in the match.

He is expecting a tough test for his side against the Potters and paid testament to the improvements that Mark Hughes has made at the Britannia Stadium.

“They’re more organised and they don’t focus only on kicking and winning by physical challenges, corners, throw-ins, smashing the keeper," he said to the Northern Echo. 

“It used to be like that - there was nothing wrong with it because they got many, many points. They’re a really tough side to play because they can play football as well.

“When they put the ball in they do it in a difficult manner. They can counter-attack, they’re very physical and they’ve got good players like [Victor] Moses, [Oussama] Assaidi, there are dangers everywhere. We just need to focus on our game, defend well and because we are at home we will hope to attack them and hopefully get a win.

“Each department of our team will have its own problems. [Steven] Nzonzi is a great player and the midfield will have to deal with him.

“We will have problems on the flanks and our centre-backs as well. Anything can happen, they’re really good on set pieces. But we know what we’re getting and we just need to focus on ourselves like we did against Swansea.

“Each game is a difficult situation and a new one. We know [Peter] Crouch, but it’s important we don’t underestimate him because he can play with his feet too.”

Sunderland already know of Stoke's quality after being beaten by them in the League Cup just last month.

In that game the Potters were 2-1 winners and Gus Poyet's side will be determined to avoid a similar result this time around.

The Black Cats are still on the hunt for their first victory of the campaign, but they have proven a tough side to beat so far.

The danger is that they are turning into the draw specialists, but Mannone is urging the club's supporters to remain patient.

“It’s a situation we didn’t want to be in but last year looking at the games we had played, it was nine or ten games for one point," he said. "I’m looking at it now and it’s six games, five points.

“We can work on it and we have a very long season but we’re nearly there.

“We are working in a positive way. I like to think that way. The strikers will score and the day we get the win I think everything will change.

“Last season, the first ten games we were shipping goals and we didn’t look solid at all. This season we have a base, we just need to go forward. Everybody needs to be patient. Everybody.”

Stoke, meanwhile, travel to the North-East in better form. The club have already picked up an away win against Manchester City this season, whilst their win against Newcastle United on Monday night should mean they are full of confidence.

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