HOPEFULLY the bounce that often comes from a new man at the helm will be in evidence on Saturday as Sunderland are playing catch-up already and can’t afford to drift any further.
Swansea are sixth bottom of the Premier League and haven’t won at home so far this season.
But their home games have included Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool so they will see the visit of the team propping up the table as the perfect opportunity to register their first win at the Liberty Stadium.
Everybody knows Swansea like to play possession football with good movement and imagination, so Sunderland’s work-rate has to be high to frustrate the opposition and not allow them to settle into a rhythm to dictate the play.
Sunderland have five consecutive league defeats behind them now though and that’s a trend which can be very difficult to reverse.
Gus Poyet will have his first team to pick as Sunderland boss and it will be interesting to see if it differs much from Kevin Ball’s set-up.
One enforced change will have to be made, as Ki Sung-Yeung is unavailable, but I can’t see Poyet changing the three in midfield that Bally introduced.
A like-for-like replacement for Ki in the shape of another midfielder is what I’m expecting.
One thing in Poyet’s favour is that not only will the players be trying to impress a new boss, but as they were a major influence in Ellis Short’s decision to axe Paolo Di Canio, he will have a united dressing room with a point to prove.
I see nothing but a tough game for Sunderland, Swansea have talented individuals – Michu being the particular danger.
But they also work hard and play as a team and Sunderland will know they are in for a very difficult 90 minutes.