March 03, 2015 08:22:14 UK
Manager Gus Poyet has called on his Sunderland players to ease their relegation worries by securing victories against fellow strugglers Hull City and Aston Villa.
The Black Cats visit the Tigers on Tuesday evening, with their following Premier League game a week on Saturday seeing Villa head to the Stadium of Light for another crunch clash.
The next two games will mark what is going to happen at the end of the season.
And Poyet, whose side are just three points clear of the drop zone after a run of four games without a win, is desperate to see points go on the board against two of their relegation rivals.
He told reporters: “The next two games will mark what is going to happen at the end of the season and it’s up to us to go and win both of them and put some space between us and the bottom three.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday) and in two weeks’ time against Villa it’s not about style, it’s not about passing, it’s about winning.
“There is a moment when you need to take your chances and win football games somehow and for us that time is right now.”
Sunderland are 4.00 to be relegated this season, with Hull City 4.00 and Aston Villa 2.00.
Poyet will be boosted for the trip to Hull by the availability of veteran defender Wes Brown, who had his red card against Manchester United rescinded due to a case of mistaken identity.
Billy Jones, Jack Rodwell and Ricky Alvarez are also expected to play some part at the KC Stadium having recovered from injuries.
Meanwhile, the hosts are set to welcome back striker Nikica Jelavic after a knee problem, while January recruit Dame N’Doye may well return to the starting line-up, having been left on the bench for the 1-0 weekend loss at Stoke City.
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