Sunderland seek guidance from referee Howard Webb over club's poor disciplinary record

Steve Bruce attempts to address his side's problems...
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has called in referee Howard Webb in a bid to improve his team's disciplinary record.

Captain Lee Catermole was sent off in the opening day draw against Brimingham City in a game in which Sunderland let a two-goal lead slip.

Sunderland were hit with a league-high nine red cards last season, and Bruce says such indiscipline is costing his side points.

He told the club's official website: "For large parts of last week's game we played very well, but let's be fair, going down to ten men cost us the game.

"It's hard enough to win games in this league with 11 men, let alone ten.

"I've stressed to the players that on average we've been down to ten men once every four games, and that is unacceptable.

"It's somethng we must address and I'm convinced we can. We've got to stop this petulance, if that's the right word.

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

The players and coaching staff had a team meeting today with World Cup Final referee Howard Webb, who talked to the players regarding discipline and gave some pointers.

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