Geoff Cameron has revealed that recent criticism from manager Tony Pulis was behind Stoke City's stern defensive showing in Saturday's goalless draw with Sunderland.
The Potters boss branded his backline as "extremely poor" following their 4-2 defeat by Manchester United in the previous match and was looking for a vast improvement against the Black Cats.
Cameron admitted his delight at keeping the clean sheet but reasoned that he would sooner concede and still beat the opposition in future.
The 27-year-old told reporters: "It was a disappointing result, giving away four goals [against United], but you live and you learn and we took positives into this weekend and tried to fix the negatives.
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"I thought we did that against Sunderland.
"We had problems with crosses against United that led to their goals but on Saturday I thought we kept Sunderland quite down the flanks and both teams didn't give each other much space in behind or many opportunities.
"Tactically we were both spot-on with each other. They knew what we were going to do and we knew what they were going to do – sit back and defend.
"Of course, it's a positive from the game but I'd sooner have two in the back of their net than us keep a clean sheet."
Although Stoke tightened up at the back, they also drew a blank and met their match in the form of Sunderland shot-stopper Simon Mignolet, who denied the home side the three points with a series of crucial saves.
"Their goalie made a few great saves towards the end and he had that luck on his side," Cameron noted.
"Our guys were there for the rebound but unfortunately it was blocked or saved, so there are a lot of things we can take out of this game.
"But I think it was an entertaining game back and forth, especially towards the last 15 minutes or so.
"It was just one of those games. We created chances but were just unfortunate that we didn’t get the bounces our way."