GUS Poyet says he will box clever when Sunderland take on Norwich City at Carrow Road tomorrow.
The Black Cats’ boss is determined to send his players in search of victory in the relegation six-pointer against a side sitting just three places and four points above the Wearsiders in the Premier League table.
And the Uruguayan believes that Sunderland have what it takes to notch their fourth away win of the season and bolster their escape bid from the bottom three.
But he will not throw caution to the wind and says – just as in last week’s game against Crystal Palace – that Sunderland have to be smart and accept victories cannot be guaranteed.
“We will set up to win the game and I hope that people will see within the first few minutes that we have gone to Norwich looking for all three points,” he told the Echo. “But we have to be intelligent too and see how the game works out.
“We are going to be positive and we are going to look to try to win the game – we need wins at this stage of the season – and hopefully we can get one this weekend.
“If we are playing well and in a position to snatch the three points in the final stages of the game, then I will have a decision to make.
“We are at the stage of the season where we need three points and if I think we can get them, then I will go for it.
“But we have to assess it by what happens in the game.
“We might put in a terrible performance – it might be that an away point is a good one for us on the day – just as it was for Crystal Palace last weekend.
“If that’s the case, then we have to look to take a point at least because at least that way we’re taking something from the game.
“I want to win the game, but we have to be smart too.”
Poyet believes this weekend’s match will be equally as tense for both teams, considering what is at stake.
Norwich can go seven points clear of Sunderland with a victory; but the Black Cats will only be one point behind the Canaries, with three games in hand, should they win.
“I think the pressure on both sides is the same,” Poyet shrugged, “There’s no difference, in my view.
“We can all find things to be frightened of, we can all find things to encourage us – all it suggests to me is that there will not be too many goals.
“Both teams will look to be strong defensively, but a bit of luck helps in games sometimes.
“This season, we’ve had away games where we might have won easily – against West Ham and Aston Villa – but we didn’t.
“So we have to hope that this time we have a bit more luck.
“We need to start well, defend well, not make mistakes, impose our football and, when it is difficult, we have to fight, because although it might be tight, there will be chances.”
* Don’t miss the biggest and best coverage of Sunderland’s trip to Norwich, plus Tony Gillan’s View From The Bridge, Brian Patterson’s away guide to Liverpool, Yesterdays and much more, in tomorrow’s online Football Echo – it’s available on sunderlandecho.com from around 6.45pm