Sunderland quickly returned from the high of beating Newcastle in the derby after they suffered a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Crystal Palace during the weekend.
As a result, the club still remain with fears of relegation. They will be hoping to pick up some points away from home when they take on Stoke City after a 12 day gap. This is an extended gap that could help Sunderland prepare well for the match, but manager Dick Advocaat has already come up with a list of excuses. He thinks that his Sunderland team will not be able to compete with the physicality offered by Stoke.
Since Stoke play a similar brand of football like Crystal Palace, it appears thatAdvocaat does not seem confident of three points. The team are indeed on a very poor run of form away from the Stadium of Light. Their last victory away from home came back in December when they managed to beat Newcastle. QPR and Burnley have been playing extremely well while Leicester City have also closed the gap to safety. Sunderland are only three points ahead of the drop zone and the threat of relegation still looms large. The club still has difficult away matches against Arsenal and Chelsea.
“We are not a real physical team.If you compare us with the other teams, that’s a big difference.In the Premier League, you need physical players as well.We have to think about that for the game with Stoke City.We have a different type of players, who are more combination players, than with more pace.We have to find a combination to create chances and win games. They also know they played badly in the second half against Crystal Palace. The way we gave the goals away was very poor,” said Advocaat.