SUNDERLAND have no excuse for a Hull City hangover in Saturday’s crunch clash against Crystal Palace, says Gus Poyet.
The Black Cats exited the FA Cup with a whimper at the KC Stadium last weekend after blowing their chance to reach Wembley for a second time this season.
But Poyet, who is expected to revert to his first-choice starting XI after making six changes against the Tigers, insists there is no reason why the cup defeat should affect Sunderland’s mentality for their relegation clash against Palace.
Sunderland would overtake Tony Pulis’ fifth bottom side if they can secure only a fourth Premier League win of the season at the Stadium of Light.
And Poyet believes that should provide a sufficient incentive for his players, regardless of what happened at Hull.
“If I was a player and I got the chance to play Palace, who are three points above us, then it (the Hull game) wouldn’t affect me,” said the head coach.
“If we’ve got some weak people who are affected, then I can assure you they won’t be on the pitch.
“We weren’t good enough at Hull. Bottom line.
“But let’s make sure we are better on Saturday, because if not, it will get harder and harder.”
Poyet is expected to reinstate Vito Mannone, Ki Sung-Yueng, Fabio Borini, Marcos Alonso and Adam Johnson to the starting line-up against Palace after resting the quintet at Hull – a decision which continues to cause debate among supporters.
But Poyet could also have Craig Gardner, Jozy Altidore, Valentin Roberge and Wes Brown back available, with the absence of the latter particularly telling against the Tigers.
Brown had been struggling with a calf strain throughout last week, yet is expected to be fit for this weekend.
“Wes Brown didn’t train all week and Craig Gardner pulled out at the last minute,” added Poyet. “Jozy Altidore was ill, and so too was Valentin Roberge.”