Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has told the Shields Gazette what he feels has been a key weakness in his team.
On both occasions, Sunderland have conceded the first goal inside the first 20 minutes of the game, which has automatically put the game plan out of the window and left the club with more work to do.
“Yes, we have to start better - you can go into any game and there’s a group of players who can start the game in a certain way and the opposition can take advantage,” said the boss.
“If you take advantage, then you’ve got a great chance.”
Alternatively, if you don’t take advantage, you’ll have a lot of work to do to get back into a game and Sunderland have failed to so in their last two matches.
The side is going to be under a lot of pressure against the Baggies this weekend and if everyone doesn’t keep their concentration through the opening minutes, Tony Pulis’ side have the players who can take advantage.
A strong start from Sunderland is also important in terms of the message it sends to the crowd.
Poyet will want the Sunderland supporters to get right behind the team, which will be more difficult for them to do, if they see the same old problems and the same negative start as their team goes behind.
If they start well and eradicate their recent weakness, the volume and confidence levels will rise and should spur the team on.