Grant McCann hopes his Doncaster Rovers side can heap the pressure on Sunderland and turn the home fans against the Black Cats when the two sides meet on Good Friday.
Sunderland, third in League One and two points adrift of Barnsley in second, host play-off hopefuls Doncaster at the Stadium of Light on Friday (KO 5.15pm).
Sunderland lost their unbeaten home record with a chaotic 5-4 defeat against Coventry City last time out and McCann is hoping to pile on more pressure.
McCann believes the expectation levels on Sunderland are ‘huge’ and he is hoping to cause another upset.
“The expectations up there are huge,” McCann told the Doncaster Free Press.
“They’ll be expected to be in the top two, I’d have thought.
“Definitely after the last two home games they’ve played – which they drew and lost – there will be expectations for them to beat us.
“Hopefully that plays into our hands.
“The boys know what to expect up there [in terms of the size of the crowd].
“It’ll show them this is what you can play in front of every week [by winning promotion to the Championship].
“We’ll go up there and soak in the atmosphere.
“Hopefully the fans will be getting on top of the Sunderland players in a bad way.
“It’s a big few days for us but it’s not going to catastrophically dent our season if we don’t get a result at Sunderland.
“We’re not thinking like that. We’ve got belief in our group that we can go and deliver a very good performance.”
Midfielder Ben Whiteman is fit and available for selection having returned to training from an ankle injury.
And Sunderland January transfer target John Marquis has also been passed fit having completed the concussion recovery protocol.