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Thursday 20 September 2018

Poyet wants luck to change

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has called on his side to break their away-day curse as they travel to Aston Villa today rooted back to the bottom of the Premier League table.

Poyet's three away games in charge since taking over from Paolo Di Canio have yielded three defeats, three own goals and three red cards – although last week's for Wes Brown at Stoke was subsequently rescinded.

The Black Cats' luckless displays have been in stark contrast to their home form, which has seen successive wins over Manchester City and Newcastle and implied an ability to steer clear of trouble.

Poyet (pictured) said: "I know that our last three away games were incredible. I try not to think too much about bad luck but when you get so many own goals and sendings-off it makes it difficult.

"All I am asking for is a normal game with no incidents."

The controversial sending-off of Wes Brown hampered Poyet's hopes of getting something out of the game at the Britannia Stadium, although the Uruguayan has accepted the issue is in the past after speaking with referees' chief Mike Riley.

Wes Brown, Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena are all available against Villa.

Cattermole in particular has now been sent off eight times in his career but is clearly regarded as an important player by Poyet, who is expected to restore him straight back to his starting line-up.

Vito Mannone is expected to retain his place in goal as Keiren Westwood struggles to shake off a knock. Carlos Cuellar is ruled out with a hip injury but otherwise Poyet can choose from a fully fit squad.

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