Why Sunderland must be wary of Cardiff boss Neil Warnock who knows every trick in the book

Sunderland have another chance to end their home jinx when they host high-flying Cardiff City on Saturday.

Thursday, 21st September 2017, 4:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st September 2017, 4:45 pm
Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 12, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Preston. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

I can’t see Cardiff coming to Sunderland in any other way than with optimism and confidence and why shouldn’t they given Sunderland’s abysmal home form and their good early start which sees them third in the league.

Saying that, they did produce their worst performance of the season in their last away game at Preston - a 3-0 defeat.

That is their only reverse so far, but I’m sure Neil Warnock will use that as a reminder to his players to avoid any complacency.

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Warnock seems to have been around forever, he knows all the tricks and will be well aware of Sunderland’s mental problems at home.

And will be only too willing to exploit it.

The Cardiff boss isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but he is a character and no one can deny he has a great record in the Championship and knows what it takes at this level.

So, if Simon Grayson is to get his first win on Wearside as Sunderland boss, then he will have to outwit one of the division’s most experienced campaigners and he will also have to lift and organise his players who are low on self belief in front of their own fans.

In the four home games so far, Sunderland have only scored two goals at the Stadium of Light.

One a penalty against Derby County, which was a clumsy defensive error rather than anything we did, and a late Jack Rodwell header against Sheffield United when the game was already lost.

With Lewis Grabban unavailable, it limits Simon Grayson’s options up front even more so.

That’s why I was delighted to see James Vaughan get off the mark against Hull City at the weekend, as that goal will do him the world of good and hopefully he can go on now and score many more.

Say what you like about Vaughan, but he is a trier.

He gives everything and I think that is why the fans have stuck with him during his dry spell.

The Sunderland players really have to stand up and be counted and take responsibility when playing at home now with the last home win coming unbelievably before last Christmas.

If there is one thing I heard more than any other from Sunderland fans following relegation last season it was ‘at least now we will see a few more wins in the Championship.’

Unfortunately, that has not exactly turned out to be true so far.