On the effect the home record can have on the players:
They’ve got to put all that out of their minds.
It’s just another 90 minutes against Fulham and it’s another challenge, another opportunity.
In the Championship games come thick and fast. I’ve been in international management for a long time where if you lose a game you don’t play for two, three or four months sometimes.
So that heavy burden of defeat is hanging over and you can’t put it right.
At least in club football the games come thick and fast and you get another opportunity to put things right. And that’s how I see tomorrow: an opportunity. The players have to look at it that way and go out and do their absolute best. That’s all they can do.
On what he can say to lift the fans in the Stadium of Light:
There’s nothing I can say to the fans. It’s about our actions. They don’t come to watch me, they come to watch the players. I’m responsible for results, that’s what it’s about. I can come out with some fancy sayings, and we can come out with some fancy marketing off the pitch but ultimately it’s all about what happens on the pitch. It’s all about what happens in those ninety minutes - that is what will determine the mood in the stadium.
Our fans have every right to be disappointed and the only way that will subside will be what happens on the pitch and I can play a part in that.
I had my first taste of it (not winning at home) two weeks ago. The negativity was there. We have an opportunity to put this right. Only ourselves can do that. Fulham won’t come here to help us - only we can do that. We will put it right; but the sooner the better.
On facing his former club and his memories of our game in 2006:
It was a replay, I remember. We were winning 1-0 and it was called off because of the snow.
So we had to come up again and ended up losing it 2-1. It was the game Sunderland got their first win, but I don’t remember too much about Sunderland then - I was managing Fulham and it was all about ourselves.
Fulham are an ex-club of course, but it’s all about Sunderland for me, it doesn't matter who the opposition are.
It’s Fulham this week, Wolves last week. It doesn't really matter to me who we play, it’s about us. It’s about those ninety minutes and Saturday is another opportunity to get away from where we are. I don’t think to much about the opposition - it’s all about us.
On last week’s draw with Wolves:
Sometimes I get a high from a real good team performance, when you’re up against it and need to dig deep. It may not be the easiest on the eye in terms of performance performances, it was a different type of performance that I think spoke a lot about the players. They dug deep and it was a great point and they deserved it.
We denied a very good team and we did that together. I thought our boys deserved the point. We denied a very, very good team and we did that together. They showed a lot of courage and a lot of grit to dig it out. Our boys deserved that point.
It won’t always be good to watch. Good teams find a way to win. We have to find a way to perform and that’s what we have to do - we have to pick points up in different ways. Horses for courses. Whatever challenge comes our way, we have to choose a game plan, stick to it and make sure we get the points we need.
On the impression the younger players have made:
I always like to integrate some of the younger players because it gives the tempo in training a lift because of their enthusiasm. They've been fantastic. They’ve added value and played a part.
I didn’t know what to expect but I’ve been impressed with them, with the way they’ve handled the environment. Sometimes you come up to the first team and you can forgive younger players for maybe getting caught in the headlights a little bit because they’re not used it, but the guys we’ve got here are really good, I’ve been impressed.