SUNDERLAND boss Gus Poyet has urged his Black Cats not to become the first team to surrender home points to struggling QPR.
Managerless Rangers head for the Stadium of Light tomorrow night having emerged empty-handed from each of their previous 11 league games away from home, a return which has piled the pressure on them at Loftus Road.
They will arrive on Wearside deep in relegation strife, sitting in 19th place in the Premier League.
But Sunderland head coach Poyet knows that record will end sooner rather than later.
Poyet said: “If you asked me if I would expect any team to lose every single game away from home in one season, I would say to you: ‘No’.
“Now that they can go one extra in the wrong way, it’s up to us.
“Of course they have got a part to play, but sooner or later it should change, I suppose.
“I would be very surprised if they don’t get any points in the whole season away from home, very, very surprised.”
QPR remain in a state of flux after Harry Redknapp’s resignation last week and with a replacement yet to be appointed amid speculation that Poyet’s former Tottenham team-mate Tim Sherwood could join forces with another one-time colleague Les Ferdinand, the club’s newly-appointed director of football.
In the meantime, caretaker Chris Ramsey is in charge but the Londoners will be missing top scorer Charlie Austin, out with a foot injury.
Asked if his absence was a bonus, Poyet said: “Yes, yes.
“When you have got a player like Austin who is making the difference and winning games for you - like he did against us - if he doesn’t play, it should be a bonus.
“When a big player is missing, the other team should take advantage.”