MARTIN O’Neill has promised to take risks in an attempt to end Sunderland’s goalscoring drought.
The Black Cats have not scored a goal of their own since September.
A Demba Ba own goal in the Wear-Tyne derby is the only strike to their credit in that period.
The reason why is not hard to fathom, with only 13 shots on target in nine Premier League matches this season.
It jars alongside a defensive record which is the division’s best.
O’Neill (pictured) takes offence at the suggestion he is a negative manager, but he was on the defensive after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa.
“We have thrown everything in there,” O’Neill said of his and his players’ attempts to overturn Gabriel Agbonlahor’s first top-flight goal since November 5, 2011.
“There were countless times we had one-on-ones with our wingers. We are playing with wingers.
“We had so many attacking players on the field and I am not even talking about the team that finished, I am talking about the team that started.
“We have attacking players all over the pitch and you would think you would eke out a goal, but the most encouraging thing for me (against Villa) was the number of times we had one-on-ones, and that is what we strive for.”