DICK Advocaat says Sunderland must try to avoid plotting where their potential survival points can come from.
Victories for Hull and Leicester City at the weekend saw Sunderland fall into the bottom three for just the second time this season, with the Black Cats now a point adrift of safety and only basement boys Burnley boasting an inferior goal difference.
Sunderland’s position could get even worse in the next 48 hours, with Hull hosting Liverpool tonight, before Premier League leaders Chelsea travel to Leicester tomorrow night aiming to end the Foxes’ run of four successive wins.
Head coach Advocaat believes Sunderland need six points from their remaining five games if they are to be successful in saving their skins from relegation for the third year on the spin.
But while Sunderland may ultimately need a total of 36 points, Advocaat believes it’s a fruitless task to calculate where the elusive six will come from, with the Black Cats needing first and foremost to pick up something in this Saturday’s visit of Southampton.
“For me, it’s all about the next game,” said Advocaat.
“You can’t start thinking about Everton or Leicester (the games which follow Southampton). You think about that afterwards and just concentrate on the next game. In one day, the little things can change – for us and the opponents, with injuries and other little things. For me, it’s quite simple.”
However, despite Advocaat’s claims, the next three games may need to derive a six-point haul, with Sunderland heading to Arsenal and Chelsea during the final week of the season. While Sunderland won at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford during the Great Escape last season, they haven’t beaten any of the current top eight so far this year.