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Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has challenged his players to make Saturday's Premier League showdown with Burnley the turning point in their season.

Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet has challenged his players to make Saturday's Premier League showdown with Burnley the turning point in their season.

The Uruguayan was left with more questions than answers after seeing his team scrap out a 0-0 FA Cup fourth-round draw with Sky Bet Championship Fulham at the weekend in front of a deeply unimpressed home crowd at the Stadium of Light.

A replay on February 3 will give them a further chance to progress, but with just a single point separating them from the drop zone, the clash with fellow strugglers Burnley on Wearside represents a far more pivotal occasion.

Poyet, who is still working on the new 3-5-2 system he has chosen to employ - in order to accommodate Jermain Defoe (pictured) in a two-man frontline - said: "There are moments in the season where you have turning points, and the Burnley game is one of them, so it's an important week for us.

"The idea now is to first analyse the two games, Tottenham and this one, check really well if it's the way we want to go forward, train it, whatever we are going to do, and play, first and foremost, Burnley and win. We need to win."

The comforts of home, however, are not something the Black Cats have been able to rely upon in recent times.

Since they beat Manchester City 1-0 at the Stadium of Light for the fourth successive season on November 10, 2013, they have won only four of the 25 league games they have played there since and collected just 22 of the 75 points on offer.


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