NO SIDE in the Premier League can beat Sunderland’s knack of under-achievement on home soil this season.
The Black Cats’ return of just 12 points from 16 Stadium of Light games is the worst home record in the top flight.
It’s the four victories on the road which have given Gus Poyet’s side even a sniff of beating the drop.
While Sunderland have invariably given the big boys a run for their money on Wearside, it has been when the lesser lights have visited and stock-piled men behind the ball that the Black Cats have laboured so damagingly.
But Sunderland will need to end those habits in their three remaining home games if they are to pull off a miraculous escape from the jaws of relegation.
The chances of Poyet’s men emerging victorious in Sunday’s huge encounter against third-bottom Cardiff are perhaps boosted, though, by the Bluebirds’ equally desperate need for three points.
Cardiff face a trip to Newcastle, followed by a last-day visit of Chelsea after this weekend and, realistically, need to win two of those final three games.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side cannot afford to just hang on for a draw on Sunday lunchtime.
Sunderland frontman Fabio Borini hopes that can help the Black Cats and insists Cardiff will not be relishing their trip to Wearside after Poyet’s side got their survival campaign back on track with last weekend’s tremendous victory at Chelsea.
“Cardiff need the points as much as us,” said Borini.
“Teams have come here to defend a little bit more because they know this can be a hard place with the crowd behind us.
“I remember last year playing with Liverpool and it wasn’t easy.
“It’s never easy to come and play against Sunderland.
“We need to keep doing our jobs and be professional in the games.
“Off the pitch as well, to train well and prepare the best we can.
“Let’s get the results as soon as possible and see what will happen at the end.”
On-loan Liverpool frontman Borini gave Sunderland renewed hope of remaining in the Premier League with his match-winning penalty at Stamford Bridge.
And it has continued to be a good week for the 23-year-old after he was crowned Sunderland Supporters’ Young Player of the Year on Tuesday night.
“It’s a pleasure to win this award, especially from the fans because they are at the heart of this club,” added the Italian.
“As a loan player, I came here to play most of the games and get regular football.
“When you play regularly, you get confidence, and that was my target.”