SUNDERLAND’S players will be urged to show there is more to their game than just dogged determination this weekend.
The Black Cats have fought back to snatch a point in three of their first four Premier League outings; gaining a third top-flight draw against Spurs last Saturday, despite being on the back foot for long periods.
But boss Gus Poyet is eager to see Sunderland take the initiative in tomorrow’s trip to Burnley and make their pressure count against the newly-promoted Clarets.
Poyet told the Echo: “I think it’s been clear that the character, commitment and the right reaction is there.
“We cannot lose that. We need to maintain that.
“Now we need to show the other side of the game; show that we can go ahead and can maintain that or increase it.
“That’s the challenge now.
“That’s what we’ve been talking about in the last two or three days when we’ve really been focusing on the Burnley game.
“Let’s go there with the attitude of controlling it and going ahead.
“The first 20 minutes at QPR, we could have gone ahead 1-0. Then they would have had a problem at home.
“Yes, you need to defend after that and be strong. But there will be spaces at the other end as well.
“We didn’t do that at West Brom either because we scored and were rubbish for 20 minutes.
“We need that character from the beginning to go ahead in the game.”
Sunderland will have faced two of the three newly-promoted sides away from home after tomorrow’s trip to the winless Clarets.
The Black Cats’ clash at QPR last month ended in defeat after taking just one point on the road at the Premier League’s new boys last season.
Poyet is aware of those shortcomings, but wants his side to overcome that recent record and harness what he expects to be a determined Burnley outfit.
“Yes, the newly-promoted teams usually start well,” he added.
“Burnley have played two big teams at home and now they’ll be thinking ‘we need to win’.
“They’re going to turn us, try to get the ball, put it wide and try to put crosses in early doors to bring the place up.
“We need the ball.
“I think it will be interesting into how the team plays.
“I’ve been told this week that apparently we are a nice team with the newly-promoted teams and we usually lose against them!
“But we need to play our game.”
* Don’t miss tomorrow’s online Football Echo for the best coverage of Burnley v Sunderland and much more. It’s on this website from around 6.45pm
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