Sunderland boss ready for key clash with Aston Villa

Gus Poyet
Gus Poyet
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GUS Poyet says Sunderland’s current form is starting to earn respect at the bottom of the table.

But he says the in-form Black Cats have no room for complacency ahead of the New Year’s Day visit of an Aston Villa side which has lost four of its last five games.

In the wake of an away win at Everton followed by a last minute draw away to Cardiff, which felt like a win, Poyet (left) said: “I think with any luck, people will start speaking differently about us soon.

“We have had a five-game unbeaten run and if we get a good result against Aston Villa we might be talking about getting past one or two clubs at the bottom of the table.

“That would make us more attractive to potential signings we are hoping to attract.

“But that’s not the most important thing – the most important thing for us is that we keep on getting good results because it is all about maintaining our momentum.”

Sunderland might easily have got a victory at Villa Park when the two sides met at the end of November – Emanuele Giaccherini missing an open goal from four yards in a game in which the visitors were the better side.

But Poyet says that game counts for nothing tomorrow and pointed out that Villa’s results away from home this season have been better than the ones they’ve got at Villa Park.

“That is because they are a very good counter-attacking team,” he observed. “They hit you very fast on the break – that is their strength – and it’s something we need to be aware of.

“At home, it is not such an asset for them because teams will come and sit deeper and be a bit more defensive.

“Away from home, when the onus is the home side to attack, Villa are the sort of side that can find gaps on the counter-attack and exploit them.

“So we need to be disciplined at the back and conscious of the danger Villa can bring, even though obviously it is a home game that we want to win.”

“I think the players are confident and I think the players are looking forward to it after the Christmas results we have had.

“But it is important that we are very professional about the way we go about things – we are still bottom and we can take nothing for granted.”