DICK ADVOCAAT says Sunderland have to enjoy some away day joy, if they are to be successful in their fight against relegation.
Sunderland haven’t triumphed on their travels since the derby win at Newcastle in December – picking up just three points from the subsequent seven games on the road.
But with Sunderland’s form at the Stadium of Light little better and a 4-1 collapse against Crystal Palace in their last home game, the Black Cats need an upturn in their away form if they are to beat the drop.
Four of six Sunderland’s remaining games are away from home – starting with today’s trip to Stoke City – with Advocaat believing that his side still require at least another six points from that run-in to be safe.
“I think home games are always easier, but maybe some players don’t have that same feeling,” said Advocaat.
“The majority of the clubs have to get their points in their home games.
“But we’re now in the situation where we have to get points away as well.
“We have to do much, much better today than we did against Crystal Palace.
“The way they have reacted in training has been very positive.
“Now they have to do that today as well.”
Stoke have no such worries over the drop, with the Potters targeting a top eight finish after a second successive season of progress under Mark Hughes.
But Advocaat insists he is not concerned by the hosts; knowing that he needs to see an improvement in commitment from a Sunderland side who capitulated so horrifyingly against Palace.
“Stoke are a good side – they have 43 points, they are safe,” he added.
“But it is important about what we do.
“We cannot make the same mistakes we did against Crystal Palace.
“We have to give everything, and then you can say at the end, we were better or they were better.
“It’s so simple.
“Our team knows that we have to get some points there.”