GUS Poyet says his players must use tomorrow’s Capital One Cup quarter-final tie against Chelsea to learn to win again.
The Black Cats have not tasted victory in their last five games - their last win coming against Manchester City at the Stadium of Light last month.
And Poyet says that with the pressure of picking up Premier League points off tomorrow night, he hopes the Wearsiders will be free to express themselves and reach the semi-finals of the competition.
“It will be difficult because Chelsea are a top team and they will put out a very good side, regardless of who they put on the field,” he said.
“But this is an opportunity for us - an opportunity for us to become winners.
“If we are going to get out of the trouble we are in at the bottom of the table we need to become winners and winners win more than they lose, so we have to look to start winning and the cup game would be a great chance for us to have a go.”
Jack Colback remains unwell and will not play tomorrow night but Phil Bardsley, who limped out of the game against West Ham is fit to play.
The game at Upton Park was one of Sunderland’s best performances this season but Poyet says he would still have preferred a full week to train with his players rather than throwing them straight back into action.
“After a good performance do you want to be playing again straight away?” he mused.
“From a player’s point of view, no doubt.
“But from a manager’s point of view? I’m not so sure.
“That’s because as a manager you see things in a game you would like to change, and you would prefer to spend a week working on that.
“As it is, we almost have to use the Chelsea game as part of our training.”