WES BROWN insists Sunderland need to maintain the momentum from back-to-back Stadium of Light successes when the Premier League resumes after the international break.
Ten of Sunderland’s first-team squad headed off on international duty last night in buoyant mood after the Black Cats’ 1-0 victory over Manchester City.
When the top flight resumes in 12 days, Sunderland will have their eyes set on the group of teams immediately above the drop zone after the gap with safety was reduced to just three points.
And with trips to bottom-half outfits Stoke and Aston Villa next up for Gus Poyet’s men, man of the match Brown says Sunderland must continue their recovery after taking six points from the last three games.
Brown said: “We all stayed together yesterday, stuck to the game-plan and, at times, we could have scored again.
“We need to keep doing that after the international break.
“Winning any game is great, but Man City are a top side and they’ve got the best players.
“We matched them, especially in the first half and then, in the second half, we had to work for it and we did.
“Training will be good this week. We just need to keep this going and we’re looking forward to the next few games now.”
Brown shone on his first Premier League start since January 2012 after completing the full 90 minutes of last Wednesday’s Capital One Cup success against Southampton.
Sunderland have conceded just once in the two-and-a-half games since the former England international has returned to the fold.
And Brown believes a first top-flight clean sheet of the campaign will be a major boost to Sunderland’s confidence after shipping 22 goals in the opening 10 games.
“It was tiring towards the end. They put a lot of the balls into the box, although the adrenaline helped me,” added the 34-year-old. “But we knew it was going to be difficult.
“All the lads worked their socks off and we deserved everything we got.
“Personally, it was difficult, but, as a team, we were fantastic.
“I thought we played exceptionally well. As a defender, the clean sheet is probably the best thing about it.
“You don’t concede any goals and you don’t lose. That’s our first clean sheet of the season and now we need to keep that going.”