Gus Poyet reasons that it is vital to approach big games, such as Saturday's trip to Arsenal, armed with a well-rehearsed game plan.
The Uruguayan midfielder feels that it can often backfire when teams attempt to outplay table-topping opposition on their own patch and says the devising of a strategy is neccessary to help control the pattern of the game.
"I've played many times at Highbury and, the times I've gone there with the team playing an open game, I've lost," explained Gus.
"The manager needs to think of the best way to play against them and then everybody will try to do their work. I think the key is to have the ball, if you have the ball a lot then they have to work harder and it will be easier.
"If you just play an open game you can lose the game too easily."
But don't gameplans tend to be discarded if you fall a goal behind early on?
"I've seen Arsenal play a lot - probably because they are on television too much sometimes - and if they score early you must stay firm for the next 10 or 15 minutes because they are capable of scoring two or three quick goals.
"When the game settles down, being a goal behind is not too dramatic. I remember two years ago we were down and got back in the game, but lost it with a silly penalty.
"It is a game where you have to be clever on the pitch. Strong and quick yes, but you have to read the game and know what is better for the team at different moments.
"You'll have your moments and they'll have their's - so you have to manage the game in the best way."