CRAIG Gardner insists Sunderland will prove a “hard team to beat” once the goals inevitably come.
And the former Birmingham City midfielder has praised fellow new signings Wes Brown and John O’Shea for the experience they have added to the Black Cats defence.
Sunderland drew 0-0 at Swansea City on Saturday, and have now scored just once in four games since the current season started.
But Gardner has sought comfort in the knowledge his side are at least creating chances, and that a clean sheet demonstrates the influence Brown and O’Shea have had at the back.
“It’s a point on the board and the other positive is that we didn’t concede,” Gardner said.
“But obviously we need to score goals. We’re getting the chances but at the minute they’re just not going in for us. I think we’ve been a bit unlucky but we’re certainly creating enough chances and I’m sure sooner or later the goals have got to come.
“The season’s only just started and it’s not only us who are struggling to score goals. Swansea haven’t scored many either.
“We’ve certainly got the players to do it, we just need that little bit of luck at the minute to get the goals.
“You can’t fault our work-rate, every one of us ran our socks off.
“We could have done with three points. Unfortunately, we only got one but at least we got something out of the game.
“I wouldn’t say we’re playing badly, I think we’re playing quite well. We’ve just been unlucky.
“The goals will come and once they do, we’re playing really well, and defending really well, and I’m sure we’ll be a hard team to beat.”
For that, Gardner added, thank the influence of new signings Wes Brown and John O’Shea.
“Look at the career Wes Brown’s had, and we’ve missed John O’Shea but he’s back now,” Gardner (pictured right) said.
“They’re so experienced and it’s good to have that in the team.
“It’s not just how they play, it’s the way they talk to you in the changing room. They’ve been there and done it, and they know how to get players up for a game.
“I’m still young, Jack (Colback) is still young, and the way they talk us through the game, and are always in our ears, is good to have in your team.”