Chris Young’s Analysis - Alan Pardew will be desperate for Sunderland win

Alan Pardew and John Carver
Alan Pardew and John Carver
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EMBARRASSMENT, humiliation, despair; a sense of letting down an entire city and plunging tens of thousands into abject misery.

As he sat in a darkened room this week, John Carver will have experienced the full set of emotions after Newcastle’s appalling display in the Wear-Tyne derby.

Oh how Pardew would love to stick two fingers up at that mockery and emphatically burst the bubble from five-in-a-row

Alan Pardew is one of few who can appreciate what his former assistant is going through.

Pardew will forever be tainted as the first Newcastle manager to suffer four derby defeats in a row. Regardless of what else he did at St James’s – and perhaps now it doesn’t look quite so bad – that will be his epitaph.

Sunderland fans, of course, revelled in the Cockney’s run of six derbies without a win, even adopting the “Don’t Sack Pardew” chant when the natives were growing restless up the road.

Oh how Pardew would love to stick two fingers up at that mockery and emphatically burst the bubble from five-in-a-row.

Sunderland will be coming up against a highly-motivated manager tomorrow, and more worryingly, one who has injected huge confidence into his new charges after four wins from five, including victory over the champions.

This has got danger written all over it.

Back at Selhurst Park in November, Sunderland gained a crucial three points with their first away win of the campaign, but in truth, Palace were poor.

Then under the tutelage of Neil Warnock, the Eagles were so one-dimensional. It basically boiled down to cross from anywhere on the pitch and hope something materialised from it.

It wasn’t surprising that they spent the first half of the season in the doldrums.

But the transformation under Pardew has been dramatic.

The former Palace favourite has managed to harness the pace and trickery of Wilfried Zaha, Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon, and coupled it with work-rate – the latter asset being boosted by the return from suspension tomorrow of Mile Jedinak.

In Glenn Murray, Pardew has got a veteran striker finding the net too, with five goals in five from the 31-year-old.

This will be a big test of a Sunderland side, who have not suddenly become world-beaters after the derby. Far from it.

History is a stark reminder that the feel-good factor stemming from beating the Magpies doesn’t necessarily equal an upturn in results – Sunderland falling flat with a subsequent defeat after each of the previous three derby victories.

At least in Dick Advocaat, Sunderland have a head coach who will not remotely get carried away by last weekend’s result. The club’s SOS solution merely saw it as a big three points.

But what the derby has done has create some buoyancy among supporters who have suffered yet another desperate season, particularly at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland need to harness that fan power tomorrow. They need the same intensity, same pressing and same haste in getting the ball forward as they showed in the derby.

Crucially, Advocaat’s men need to begin the game that way too. It was no coincidence that Sunderland started on the front foot against Newcastle and the crowd duly responded.

The absence of Seb Larsson is a blow, particularly when it comes to the off-the-ball work which has been a large part of Advocaat’s focus since taking the reins from Poyet.

The Swedish international’s replacement – likely to be the only change to the side - will be intriguing.

If fit, Jack Rodwell is the natural substitute. If not, then it’s a straight choice between Liam Bridcutt or Adam Johnson.

Bridcutt is the like-for-like midfielder, yet Johnson would be a more positive, attack-minded selection, for a game where a win would take Sunderland to the precipice of Premier League survival.

Given Palace’s form, a draw wouldn’t be the worst result in the world, but whether Sunderland can get all three is a bigger test of Advocaat’s rejuvenation powers than anything produced in the derby.

Verdict: Draw