GUS POYET says Sunderland needed to secure some home comforts prior to this weekend’s visit of Liverpool after ending a three-month wait for a Stadium of Light victory.
Sunderland’s registered only a second win of the season on their own turf yesterday – their first since October’s success against Stoke – after holding off a spirited second-half comeback from Leeds United to progress into the FA Cup fourth round.
The Black Cats’ struggles at home are nothing new after winning just five times at the Stadium of Light last season – two of which were in the final month of the campaign.
But prior to Saturday’s clash against Liverpool, head coach Poyet believes it was vital that Sunderland ended their home hoodoo and enjoyed a much-needed confidence boost.
Poyet said: “We needed to win at home.
“It was quite embarrassing that we had played four or five months of football and only won here once.
“We needed to have the feeling that we could win at home, so there is no doubts when we play Liverpool next week.”
While Poyet made six changes to his starting XI and included three academy products on the bench, it was a still a strong side fielded by the Sunderland boss.
Certainly, there could be no accusations of Poyet taking the FA Cup lightly, with the Sunderland boss a winner of the competition during his playing days at Chelsea.
“We made a few changes from the other day, but it was a good team,” added Poyet.
Sunderland will be joined by a strong Premier League contingent in the fourth round draw tonight.
Newcastle, Hull and QPR are the only top-flight sides out so far, although two more all-Premier ties – Burnley v Tottenham tonight and Everton at home to West Ham tomorrow – will see another two exit the competition.
Sheffield United recorded the result of the round, winning 3-0 at QPR yesterday as Sunderland-born Nigel Clough plots another successful cup run for the Blades.