Gus Poyet believes Sunderland still have a “great chance” of staying in the Premier League.
The Black Cats boss knows his team’s situation appears stark, with five of their last eight opponents nestled in the top seven of the Premier League.
However, Poyet reckons his Black Cats have performed better against better teams and is backing them to repeat the feat when they head to Tim Sherwood’s Tottenham tonight.
Sunderland’s recent form has been poor but it is probably the composition of the fixture list – with three of their next four away from home at Champions League contenders – which most troubles red and white watchers.
Poyet is less concerned than most about that, pointing out that Sunderland have tended to perform better in the big games.
He said: “No doubt about it and we have big games against teams who will give us nothing.
“I think if we perform a bit better against the big clubs people accept it. Everybody says we have a great chance if we work hard, because there are three teams at the bottom and because we play against each other.
“They will think if we beat you and you don’t beat them then you lose and they win and you stay in the same situation.
“The only difference is we have one game like that (West Brom). We have a great chance.”
Despite harbouring their own troubles, Tottenham are tricky opponents for a Sunderland side which has not won a Premier League game since February 1. It is a run which must be reversed.
Poyet added: “What can I say about Tottenham? They are a great side. What if Adebayor doesn’t play? Well, I saw Soldado at the start of the season and he was outstanding in the first two games.
“Now the whole situation with Tottenham doesn’t allow him to score more goals. On a good day he will score a hat-trick!
“The whole situation does not depend on Soldado or Adebayor. It depends on what we do.
“If we look at the rest of the fixtures, we have to go to Man City, we have to go to Chelsea – we don’t need to look at those teams, we need to look at ourselves.”