Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat has called on Jack Rodwell to show "more aggression" on the pitch.
The 24-year-old's career at the Stadium of Light has been slightly stop-start due to various injuries.
This season, the former Everton and Manchester City midfielder has impressed Advocaat, but the Dutchman wants more.
"[Rodwell] can play much better aggression-wise, second ball-wise and interaction during the game," Advocaat told the Sunderland Echo.
"In principle, he is a player that can use his right and left foot, but the aggression is part of it too. If you can't do that in the top league, then you have no chance."
The Black Cats will face Tottenham Hotspur on home turf this Sunday.