IT’S now or never in Sunderland’s bid to move clear of relegation danger, admits Gus Poyet, ahead of pivotal encounters against Hull and Aston Villa.
Despite succumbing to a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United on Saturday, Sunderland remain three points clear of the drop zone after fellow strugglers Burnley, Villa and Hull also suffered losses.
There’s a moment when you need to take your chances and win football games somehow and for us that time is right now.Gus Poyet
But after just one Premier League win in 2015, Sunderland – who have failed to find the net in their last four games – now face a brace of crucial games to create daylight with the bottom three, starting with tomorrow’s trip to bogey team Hull.
Sunderland boss Poyet is under no illusions about the magnitude of the two games, where the results are all-important for the Black Cats.
“Tomorrow and in two weeks’ time against Villa it’s not about style, it’s not about passing,” said Poyet.
“It’s about winning and it’s time.
“There’s a moment when you need to take your chances and win football games somehow and for us that time is right now.
“We’re going to play the best team to win the game.
“Something always happens against Hull. I just hope we’re not talking about another refereeing decision tomorrow night.”
Sunderland will discover today the outcome of their appeal against the red card incorrectly shown to Wes Brown at Old Trafford.
But there will be question marks over whether Brown will start two games inside four days anyway, with the 35-year-old handed a breather so far this season when Sunderland have faced midweek games.
Ricky Alvarez is also unlikely to feature at the KC Stadium, with Poyet admitting the on-loan Argentine midfielder is “touch and go” to play after missing Saturday’s game with a knock.
However, Poyet is hopeful that Jack Rodwell and Billy Jones will both be available against a Hull side who have won their last four meetings with Sunderland.