Gary Rowell: Sunderland will have to produce massive upset at Spurs to end dismal record

Jermain Defoe tries to get a shot in against Everton
Jermain Defoe tries to get a shot in against Everton
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Sunderland travel to Spurs still looking for their first league win of the season and even the most diehard travelling fans will go in hope rather than belief that we will leave with three points.

Spurs are bang in form, scoring four times in their last Premier League game at Stoke City and as manager Mauricio Pochettino has added quality players like Victor Wanyama, Moussa Sissoko and Vincent Janssen to a squad that pushed so hard for the title last year, he will expect another title challenge this time round.

Sunderland will be big outsiders on Sunday, just like they were in the previous two away fixtures this season.

Yet, in those two games Sunderland were just a couple of minutes from an unlikely draw at Manchester City and they could easily have left Southampton with maximum points, if not for a soft late equaliser.

However, what is bothering me is the fragile mental state of the players after that heavy Everton loss because at Spurs they will probably be under pressure from the start and will need far more mental and physical strength.

It will be a return to the scene of his Premier League debut for Jan Kirchhoff, who had a torrid time when coming on as a sub last season.

Who would have thought then that the big German would become such a key figure for Sunderland and an inspiration in the successful survival bid?

Another player with fonder memories of White Hart Lane, though, is Jermain Defoe, who has been a matchwinner there so many times and he will be extra motivated to do it again, only this time against his former club.

Just why Sunderland can’t start a season even moderately well, is causing huge frustration among the fans.

And if that embarrassing statistic of it being 27 games since they last won a Premier League game in August or September is to end, then they will have to produce a massive upset on Sunday.