VITO MANNONE says Sunderland can prey upon Norwich City’s Carrow Road jitters this weekend.
Sunderland have struggled to make the most of home advantage against their fellow strugglers at the Stadium of Light over the last three months after failing to secure victories against Norwich, Hull and Crystal Palace.
But the pressure will be on Norwich to pick up maximum points on their own territory on Saturday when they face a crunch relegation showdown against the Black Cats.
The stakes are high for Norwich, particularly with the Canaries’ final four games being a daunting run against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
And with Sunderland proving to be far more adept on their travels than at the Stadium of Light under Gus Poyet, goalkeeper Vito Mannone hopes the Wearsiders can capitalise on their trip to East Anglia by securing a first win in four Premier League outings.
Mannone told the Echo: “It suits us playing away from home because when we have the ball we can control it, and no-one likes it. The home crowd gets nervous.
“It’s something that happens to us even at home because the crowd really want you to do well.
“We understand that and try to push and push and push.
“But sometimes that’s not easy because teams come here and put 11 bodies behind the ball.
“It will be the reverse situation on Saturday though, so hopefully we can make the most of that.”
With the onus on Chris Hughton’s Norwich side to attack, Mannone expects Sunderland to have more space in which to operate than they enjoyed against Palace.
And if Poyet’s side can reproduce the same hunger and application shown last weekend, ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Mannone believes Sunderland have every chance of securing what would be three crucial points in the survival battle.
Mannone, who kept a clean sheet against Norwich in the close-fought goalless draw at the Stadium of Light back in December, added: “The next game is another massive one and maybe, the opposition will come out a little bit more because they need to win.
“We’ll probably find more spaces.
“We just need to play at the same standard. That’s really the main target for us.”
Sunderland have visited Carrow Road in the Premier League twice, losing 2-1 in each of the last two seasons.