Sunderland turn to Webb to improve discipline

LONDON - Sunderland manager Steve Bruce invited World Cup final referee Howard Webb to their training ground on Thursday after describing his team's unenviable disciplinary record as unacceptable and petulant.

Sunderland collected nine red cards last season, the highest number in the Premier League, and began this campaign with another one when Lee Cattermole was sent off in the 2-2 draw at home to Birmingham City last weekend.

Players and coaching staff sat down for a meeting with Webb who discussed disciplinary matters.

"For large parts of last week's game we played well but, let's be fair, going down to 10 men cost us the game. It's hard enough to win games in this league with 11, let alone 10 men," Bruce told the club's official website.

"I've stressed to the players that on average we've been down to 10 men once every four games and that's unacceptable. It's something we've got to address and I'm convinced we can.

"We've got to stop this petulance, if that's the word."

"We have to screw our loaf (heads) on a bit better. We're a bit naive at times and that comes from youthfulness."

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