Sunderland have yet to keep a clean sheet this season, and their leaky defence has proved costly.
Sunderland defender Billy Jones has admitted in the Chronicle that the side are desperate to keep their first clean sheet of the campaign, having conceded in each of their nine competitive games so far this season.
Their leaky defence has seen them knocked out of the League Cup and become rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table, having only picked up two points from their seven league encounters.
Jones is quoted in the Chronicle as saying: “It would be absolutely huge to get a clean sheet, not just for the back five, but for the whole team as an XI.
“It would be great to have that clean sheet.
“We’ve conceded far too many goals this season, and we’re embarrassed and disappointed by that.
“We’re striving to be solid and get more clean sheets as a collective."
A total of 23 goals conceded by the side this season is reflected in their very poor position in the top-flight standings, and as Jones points out, it is something that needs to be improved upon quickly in order for the Black Cats to pull off yet another escape from relegation - a useful habit they have picked up over the past few seasons.
There is clearly a lot of work to do for Sunderland to become more solid at the back, and they face a tough test at the weekend when they take on West Ham United at the Stadium of Light - a side who appear to be away day specialists having beaten Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City on the road so far this season.
Fans will want to see some progress made quickly, because if they don't sort out their defence, their bleak situation will show no signs of getting any better.