AN IMPROVING Tyias Browning thinks having two former international defenders leading Sunderland’s revival has given him, and the rest of the defence, the confidence things are only going to get better at the Stadium of Light.

Chris Coleman and Kit Symons, two former Wales and Premier League centre-backs, have led the Black Cats to three clean sheets from their first five matches in charge.

Before Coleman was appointed, Sunderland had not managed to shut another team out in any of their previous 17 games in the Championship. In fact Bury were the only opposition team who failed to score and that was in the League Cup in August.

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But there were signs of greater defensive resilience in the way they kept out league leaders Wolves and then to defeat Fulham last Saturday, helping to deliver four points to lift them out of the relegation zone.

Browning, who has looked strong as part of a three-man central backline in both of those outings, does not think it is a coincidence given the amount of work that has been put in on the training ground.

"The gaffer and Kit both are very intense when it comes to the defensive work, they are both very hands on,” said Browning.

"I enjoy doing the defensive work, all the lads do. It is tough but enjoyable and more so when you get a clean sheet on a Saturday.

"You can't argue with it then. The lack of clean sheets hurt us as defenders, it was a relief when we got the first one.

“We played with a back four in the first few games under this gaffer. I just thought he was going to use three at the back for certain games when we did for the first time, but I know he’s used it for Wales.

“We’ve worked on it a lot in training. Defensively that was the main thing we worked on so I could see him using it going forward but we’re all good enough players to switch and play as a four as well.

“I am enjoying it at the moment. It is paying off. The three has been the main focus and it is showing.”

Browning has played 16 times since making the loan move from Everton and has had his decent matches and disappointing ones. During the last two, though, he has shown what he is capable of and is keen to maintain those standards.

The 23-year-old was brought in by Simon Grayson having worked with each other at Preston and he is happy things are finally starting to look a little brighter – even if it has taken a change of manager and approach.

“It’s been refreshing, a few changes, and the team is benefitting from it,” said Browning. “No two managers will be the same. It was unfortunate it didn’t work out for Simon because he was a good guy. I just think this gaffer has come in and it’s working for us at the moment with what he is doing. Hopefully we can keep it going.

“With a new manager everyone wants to impress. It’s amazing what one or two wins can do for you, even good draws. It has changed the whole spirit and hopefully it will be the big turning point for us.

“I don’t think anyone was expecting the result at Wolves, particularly with ten men. It seemed inevitable from the outside that they would have scored, but we believed we could get that result and it’s hopefully the turning point.”

Last Saturday’s victory over Fulham might have lifted Sunderland out of the bottom three, but the reality is the short-term lift could easily be severely dented again if they lose to bottom club Birmingham on Saturday.

“This is more important than the Wolves and Fulham games some would say,” said Browning. “We can’t just settle for last Saturday’s win, we have to start beating the teams around us as well and we know we have to grind a result out.

“The mood in the changing room is still as good as it was under Grayson but the wins and the points we’re getting does cheer everyone around the place up and the supporters as well. Nothing has changed in the changing room except for a few smiles here and there but it feels nice.”