Wear-Tyne derby: Dick Advocaat out to emulate Poyet and Di Canio
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 05/04/15 10:30am
Gus Poyet and Paolo Di Canio both scored vital North East derby victories in their second game in charge of Sunderland. New Black Cats boss Dick Advocaat will hope to do exactly the same on Sunday.
“There’s no better game to turn things around in than the derby and it’s a great first home game for the new coach,” said Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher this week.
Poyet and Di Canio will both agree with that sentiment after the pair boosted their relegation battles with triumphs over Newcastle.
For Advocaat – who now has eight games to guarantee Sunderland’s Premier League survival - this weekend’s Stadium of Light showdown offers a golden opportunity to pull clear of the drop zone and get the club’s supporters on side.
Sunderland slipped to a 1-0 defeat at West Ham in the Dutchman’s first game in charge, leaving the Black Cats without a win in eight games in all competitions. As a result, Sunday’s derby – which you can watch live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 3.30pm – has taken on even more importance.
“We need to improve but there is no better place to start than a derby, so it is up to us to put in a good performance and more importantly pick up the three points,” said captain Lee Cattermole.
Here’s how Poyet and Di Canio won their first North East derbies – and what it did for their survival bids…
Sunderland 2-1 Newcastle, 27 October 2013 - Fletcher (5), Debuchy (57), Borini (84)
Poyet got off to a woeful start as Sunderland boss, losing 4-0 at Swansea, but delighted the home fans at the Stadium of Light with a dramatic derby win one week later.
Sunderland had lost six of their last seven in all competitions before Newcastle’s visit but on-loan Liverpool striker Fabio Borini fired them to their first Premier League win of the campaign with a superb strike six minutes from time.
The result moved Sunderland off the bottom of the table and above Crystal Palace. Poyet declared after the final whistle: “This will change our season.”
Sunderland went on to win two of their next three, including a 1-0 victory over Manchester City, but a slump in the second half of the campaign which saw the team lose six out of seven Premier League games put them on the brink of relegation.
Poyet said they’d need a miracle to stay up – and they got just that, with a four-game winning streak including defeats of Chelsea and Manchester United.
PAOLO DI CANIO
Newcastle 0-3 Sunderland, 14 April 2013 - Sessegnon (27), Johnson (74), Vaughan (82)
"As a single game, it is the best and most important win of my career,” said Di Canio. “But it's nothing if we don't stay up."
Sunderland had gone nine games without a win in all competitions and were only out of the relegation zone on goal difference when they travelled to St James’ Park in April 2013. However, a masterclass in counter-attacking football saw them rack up a remarkable 3-0 win.
Di Canio surged down the touchline as Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and David Vaughan found the net and famously slid on his knees after Sunderland’s second. “It’s the second pair of trousers that I lose, but I would like to lose my trousers every weekend,” the grass-stained managed told Sky Sports.
Di Canio called his players “warriors” after the game. “You can't be more proud than this. They did everything, they gave everything, they left all of their energy on the field.”
A 1-0 win over Everton followed and two draws in their next four saw Sunderland survive in the Premier League by five points.
Watch Sunderland v Newcastle live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 3.30pm on Sunday.