Underdog mentality can help Sunderland at Arsenal, says Advocaat

HAPPY EVER AFTER: Sunderland players at the end of their 2-0 win away to Everton. Picture by FRANK REID
HAPPY EVER AFTER: Sunderland players at the end of their 2-0 win away to Everton. Picture by FRANK REID
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Dick Advocaat believes an underdog mentality can help Sunderland register a “sneaky” result at Arsenal to rubber-stamp their Premier League survival.

The nature of Sunderland’s final two games at Arsenal and Chelsea has prompted predictions that the Black Cats will have to rely on results elsewhere to beat the drop, rather than register the point they need to be mathematically certain of Premier League football.

We have nothing to lose because everyone expects us to lose - but we don’t

Dick Advocaat

But Advocaat has always maintained that Sunderland are capable of a positive result at either the Emirates or the Etihad, and believes the win at Everton 10 days ago proves they can perform a smash-and-grab raid.

The head coach said: “Everybody expects Arsenal to win, so let them.

“Maybe we can do something sneaky like at Everton.

“When I came we knew we had nine games left, five away including these two.

“We have never run away from that. I think every player enjoys playing at Chelsea and Arsenal.

“We have nothing to lose because everyone expects us to lose - but we don’t.

“I know that we will give both of them a difficult time and try to get what we need.”

Two months ago, Advocaat’s haul of 11 points from his seven games in charge looked like it would be sufficient to avoid relegation.

But with Leicester and Hull putting unexpected wins on the board, Sunderland remain in danger, albeit they are still in charge of their own destiny.

“The quicker we get that point the better, but I have thought that right from the beginning 11 points from seven games is great, but unfortunately we still don’t know if we are safe,” he added.