Gus Poyet insists he does not care what arch-rivals Newcastle do as he attempts to end Sunderland’s Monday malaise at Crystal Palace tonight.
The Black Cats have slipped into the bottom three as a result of their horrific 8-0 defeat at Southampton and last weekend’s 2-0 reverse at the hands of Arsenal, the Gunners making the most of two dreadful defensive errors to claim the points.
At the same time, Newcastle have put together a run of four successive victories, at home to Leicester and Liverpool and away at Tottenham and Manchester City, to climb out of the drop zone and book their place in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals.
But while the Magpies’ improved fortunes could be viewed as an example of how quickly things can change, head coach Poyet is adamant he is not bothered about what they do as he looks to secure a first Premier League win for the club on a Monday since April 2002, a run of 20 games.
He said: “I support Sunderland a lot, but not to the point that I look at Newcastle’s results, I promise you that. I don’t care what they do, I just care about what we do and our results. That’s the way I am.
“Now, maybe in a few years’ time, I will become so crazy about Sunderland, I will start looking at Newcastle’s results and celebrating when they lose, I suppose, but no, not yet, I can promise.”
Not since Peter Reid’s side beat Leicester 2-1 at the Stadium of Light on April 1, 2002 have the Black Cats collected three top-flight points on a Monday, and the timing could hardly be better for that sequence to end this week.
Poyet said: “It’s a horrible record. I don’t know why, but I don’t know if the players know, to be honest. I hope we can finish with that, it would be nice for us.”
Meanwhile Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock accepts he must learn when to keep his mouth shut.
Warnock has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association after post-match comments in the wake of the Eagles’ 2-1 home defeat by Chelsea on October 18. The 65-year-old had said referee Craig Pawson was “influenced” by Chelsea players in the decision to send off Ireland’s Damien Delaney for a second yellow card.
Warnock spent time working as a pundit while away from the game before returning to take charge at Selhurst Park in late August following the departure of Tony Pulis on the eve of the new season.
The Palace boss, who is set for a personal hearing over his FA charge, understands why he needs to take himself to task, even if not agreeing with the reasoning behind it.
“I am looking forward to going back on TalkSPORT and BT after (finishing as a manager), when you can say what you want and enjoy it,” Warnock said.
“I have to learn to adjust, because I do think people want to hear your opinions. They don’t want people always sat on the fence being boring.
“I have to be like (Swansea boss) Garry (Monk), haven’t I? And I have to be careful when I push (Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger and when I push (Chelsea boss) Jose (Mourinho).”
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