GUS POYET admits he’s slightly relieved that QPR remain managerless ahead of tonight’s Stadium of Light encounter.
Poyet’s ex-Spurs team-mate Tim Sherwood has been heavily tipped to take over at Loftus Road, yet caretaker boss Chris Ramsey will remain in charge tonight – a week after Harry Redknapp’s resignation.
The new manager effect has seen a boost in fortunes for both Crystal Palace and West Brom at the wrong end of the Premier League table, and Sunderland boss Poyet believes a fresh face at the helm may have provided a boost for a QPR side without an away point on the road this season.
Poyet said: “Something can change with a new manager, for sure.
“It might last only 45 minutes – like it did in my first Sunderland game! – or it could last for 90 minutes, or for four games like it did with Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace.
“So in a certain way I am happy they have not appointed anyone yet, although I expected them to have a new manager by now, to be honest.”
Following QPR’s 11th defeat on the road out of 11 Premier League away games, Redknapp opted to hand in his notice last week, citing the need for knee surgery.
But despite QPR’s troubles continuing with a last-gasp defeat to Southampton on Saturday, Poyet insists their travel sickness cannot be taken for granted, particularly as Sunderland have only won two league games on home turf this season.
“We cannot think it is going to be easy because it won’t be,” said Poyet.
“It cannot go on forever – they are not going to lose every single away game all season.
“We need to make sure that it does not change against us.”
Caretaker boss Ramsey also has to deal with the absence of three key players – leading scorer Charlie Austin, plus first-choice central defenders Richard Dunne and ex-Sunderland loanee Nedum Onuoha.
Poyet added: “It’s difficult to analyse and prepare for the game because of the injuries they have got.
“I don’t know what team Chris Ramsey is going to play and how they are going to play.
“So it is about preparing for what we do and then adapting during the game to what QPR do.
“It’s one of those games where you cannot really prepare for what the opposition might do.
“We need to be really focused and concentrate on making the right decisions.”