GUS POYET was nestled on the sofa as an interested viewer when Sunderland romped to a 3-0 victory on Tyneside in April.
It was his predecessor in the dug-out who was to secure a place in Wearside folklore, as Paolo Di Canio proved a master at human curling by sliding down the St James’s Park touchline.
But six months on, Poyet does not believe Sunderland’s joy in their previous meeting with Newcastle United will have a bearing on Sunday’s visit of the Magpies.
The only aspect relevant to the new head coach is that his players give every drop this weekend to secure a second successive victory over Alan Pardew’s men.
“From my experience, every game is different,” said Poyet.
“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done before.
“I don’t think the last game against Newcastle will even have a place in our heads.
“For me, it’s all about Sunday and that’s what we’ll be trying to concentrate on.
“If we’re going to score the goals we did against Newcastle last season and shoot from 30 yards and put it in the top corner, it doesn’t matter who is the manager.
“People only remember the result, but I watched that game and the difference was Sunderland scored two unbelievable goals.
“The rest, it was a 50-50 game.
“But if somebody doesn’t put themselves about in this game in the way that they should, then it’s going to be difficult for them.
“I don’t like that, especially with my character, and with Tauro’s (Mauricio Taricco, assistant manager) and Charlie’s (Oatway, first-team coach). “Charlie was the type of player who would die to play in this type of game.
“Whoever goes on the pitch, it doesn’t matter how good they are, they have to be really up for it.”
Di Canio had been bullish prior to his first taste of a North East derby; branding the clash as counting for “2,000 games”.
But Poyet insists he has prepared like he would for any other game ahead of his Stadium of Light bow as Black Cats boss.
“If (the build-up) is more than normal, we need to accept it,” he added.
“We’re going to prepare as normal the best we can.
“The key is to have that feeling of being positive after every game.
“It’s my responsibility to pick the right team and go and play the way we’ve been training and talking about.
“Then it’s about doing it during the game.”
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