SUNDERLAND must be aware of Crystal Palace’s counter-attacking abilities this weekend, Dick Advocaat has warned.
The Black Cats face a stern test if they are to build on last weekend’s derby triumph over Newcastle and secure back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season – an outcome which would take the club to the precipice of top flight survival.
Their quality is to play on the counter-attackDICK ADVOCAAT
Rejuvenated Palace have won four of their last five games, including victory over reigning champions Manchester City on Monday night, with Alan Pardew’s side now realistic challengers for a top 10 spot.
The South Londoners were in the bottom three when their former player took charge in January.
They have won nine of their 14 matches under the former Newcastle manager in all competitions.
Palace’s success under Pardew has been built on making the most of their pace on the break, particularly away from home, where their record is better than at Selhurst Park.
In their last awayday, they came back from a goal down to win 2-1 at Stoke City, Wilfried Zaha getting the winner with a low strike after Glenn Murray flicked on a long ball from goalkeeper Julian Speroni.
Advocaat knows Sunderland’s determination to break down Palace at the Stadium of Light must now come at the cost of leaving gaping holes at the other end to exploit.
“Their quality is to play on the counter-attack,” said Advocaat.
“We have to know what we do if we attack, and that we always have enough people behind the ball to control that.
“But that’s always important. It was the same last week against Newcastle.
“Teams coming here play on the counter-attack.
“We have to be aware of that, but we will get chances. I have no doubts about that.”
Ex-Newcastle boss Pardew boasts an awful record against Sunderland after becoming the first Magpies manager to lose four derbies in a row against the Black Cats.
Pardew said this week that Sunderland should be more worried about his current charges, than his past at St James’s Park.
But Pardew was full of praise for Advocaat, describing Sunderland’s appointment of the ex-Holland boss as a “great move” – with the respect between the pair clearly mutual.
Advocaat said: “I met him once in Spain when he was there with Charlton Athletic.
“We spoke with each other briefly, but I follow all managers. He did a great job at Newcastle and he’s showing again that he’s a great manager.”