DAVID VAUGHAN admits Sunderland must find a cure to their deja-vu if they are to pick up points from a second trip to London this week.
Sunderland suffered a fifth away defeat in six at Tottenham yesterday after substitute Roman Pavyluchenko’s second-half strike proved sufficient to maintain the top four challenge of Harry Redknapp’s men.
A first defeat under new boss Martin O’Neill was all too familiar to those suffered by predecessor Steve Bruce, as Sunderland spurned the chances that came their way and continued the pattern of every loss this season being settled by a solitary goal.
The Black Cats, whose breathing space with the bottom three was reduced to a single point over the weekend, need to find a cutting edge at Loftus Road on Wednesday against a QPR side lying just one place and two points above them in the table.
Vaughan told the Echo: “It’s been the same old story really. We’ve been in the games but not been able to take our chances when they’ve come. We just need someone to get a few goals for us.
“It’s a massive game now against QPR on Wednesday, both teams will be looking to get their seasons back on track.
“We need to get as high up the table as we can as early in the season as possible. Three points there on Wednesday will definitely help.”
Without being spectacular, Sunderland looked comfortable for an hour until a sloppy pass from Wes Brown allowed Rafael van der Vaart to feed Pavyluchenko, who replaced Aaron Lennon midway through the first half, for the game’s only goal.
It provided the spark for Spurs, minus the injured Gareth Bale, to step up a gear in the finale, although Sunderland failed to make the most of their opportunities on the counter-attack at the other end.
Vaughan said: “I thought in the second half we played well and put them under a bit of pressure. In the first half, we didn’t keep the ball well and couldn’t really get out of our own half.
“They had quite a lot of possession in the first half without really creating anything. We contained them quite well.
“With Gareth Bale not being available it was a big loss to them and when Lennon went off as well, they lost their wide players which probably helped us a bit.
“There were a couple of chances in the second half and we had probably the best chance of the first half as well with Kieran (Richardson).
“It was a bit against the run of play, but had that gone in, it would have given us a lift. But the goal settled Tottenham down and they took confidence from that.
“We couldn’t get near them at times after they scored, but it showed the quality that Tottenham have got.”