GUS POYET believes there are elements of Sunderland’s last 3-0 win at St James’s Park that the Black Cats can incorporate into tomorrow’s return to Tyneside.
But the Sunderland boss is not expecting lightning to strike three times with such an emphatic victory; believing this weekend’s encounter will be a much closer affair against the Magpies.
Poyet continued his 100 per cent record as a manager against Newcastle last February when he steered Sunderland to a second successive 3-0 win on Tyneside.
The head coach will attempt to repeat some of the factors which saw Sunderland triumph last February, but believes tomorrow’s encounter needs to be largely treated on its own merits.
“I think certain parts (from February) we can take into this game,” said Poyet.
“But I think it’s a different Newcastle team with different abilities.
“I’m not expecting the same game.
“We know our strength, how to play in certain games, especially away from home.
“I think it suits us better at the moment to play away from home.
“Then it will depend on the first goal; key moments in the game when you need to score.
“I think the feeling here at the moment is that we go into every game thinking we have a chance to win it, although we haven’t seen that too many times this season.
“I think it will be a very close game. I can’t see a big result one way or the other.”
Seven members of the Sunderland XI who started last weekend’s draw against West Ham were in the Black Cats squad at St James’s Park in February.
But while there is plenty of experience of what it takes to triumph over Newcastle, the likes of Anthony Reveillere, Costel Pantilimon and Jordi Gomez are in line for their derby debuts.
“I think it’s a special game,” added Poyet.
“And the players who have been here know what it’s about,” added Poyet.
“For a few, it’s their first one and they’re going to have that situation of the noise, the surroundings and how you cope in the first few minutes.
“But it’s the same for (Remi) Cabella, (Ayoze) Perez and the players Newcastle got this year as well.
“There’s no difference.
“You have to make sure you don’t lose the basics of what you do best and then play the game.”