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Rival's results not relevant for Poyet now

Gus Poyet insists he does not care what arch-rivals Newcastle do as he attempts to end Sunderland's Monday malaise at Crystal Palace.

The Black Cats have slipped into the bottom three as a result of their horrific 8-0 defeat at Southampton and last weekend's 2-0 reverse at the hands of Arsenal, who made the most of two dreadful defensive errors to claim the points.

At the same time, their neighbours have put together a run of four successive victories, at home to Leicester and Liverpool and away at Tottenham and Manchester City, to climb out of the drop zone and book their place in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals.

But while the Magpies' improved fortunes could be viewed as an example of how quickly things can change, head coach Poyet is adamant he is not bothered about what they do as he looks to secure a first Premier League win for the club on a Monday since April 2002, a run of 20 games.

He said: "I support Sunderland a lot, but not to the point that I look at Newcastle's results, I promise you that. I don't care what they do, I just care about what we do and our results. That's the way I am.

"Now, maybe in a few years' time, I will become so crazy about Sunderland, I will start looking at Newcastle's results and celebrating when they lose, I suppose, but no, not yet, I can promise."

Not since Peter Reid's side beat Leicester 2-1 at the Stadium of Light on April 1, 2002 have the Black Cats collected three top-flight points on a Monday, and the timing could hardly be better for that sequence to end this week.

Victory at Palace, where the 46-year-old South American is hardly a favourite because of his Brighton links, would go some way towards steadying the ship.

Poyet said: "It's about the players on the pitch, don't worry about the manager."