A TRIP to any newly-promoted team early in the season is never easy and Gus Poyet will be well aware of that as Sunderland prepare to face QPR on Saturday.
QPR went up via the play-offs and that’s the sort of occasion which creates a real feel-good factor which usually spills over into the next season.
However, that doesn’t seem to have happened for QPR, having lost their first two games, including a heavy defeat to Spurs that can’t have done their confidence any good.
They will be desperate to get their season up and running and they will see Sunderland at home as a big chance to get their first points on the board.
Harry Redknapp is a manager who would never willingly have a quiet transfer window and this summer has seen half-a-dozen new arrivals at Loftus Road, with probably more to come by September 1.
Two of his big signings have been centre-backs – Steven Caulker and the vastly-experienced Rio Ferdinand – as Redknapp has re-shaped his defence into a back three.
They didn’t exactly look water-tight though in their last game at Spurs, where defensively they were all over the place and ended up conceding four goals.
Having watched Sunderland’s opening two games, there’s definitely improvement still to come and I’m also hoping a couple of new players can be brought in before the weekend to strengthen the starting XI.
Sunderland have drawn both games so far, while QPR have lost both, but this is the sort of fixture where the two teams will each feel they can get their first win of the season.