Aston Villa skipper Gareth Barry is confident his side will put the woes of back-to- home back defeats behind them as they prepare to go back on the road with Saturday's trip to Sunderland.
Villa's 3-1 defeat at the hands of Portsmouth at the weekend came hot on the heels of the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at Villa Park seven days earlier but while the players will feel they were both games they should have got something from, they would concede their away form of late has been far more impressive.
Villa head up to the Stadium of Light to take on Roy Keane's relegation side following fine away performances against Birmingham City, Middlesbrough and Blackburn and a total of nine away goals in three matches.
The team particularly seem to relish trips to the North East - they also managed a creditable draw against Newcastle earlier this season - and Barry believes Villa will get back on track this weekend.
Barry said: "Sunderland started the season really well and looked like they might have a very good first season back in the top flight. But they have dropped back in recent weeks and it looks like they might be battling to stay up now.
"Roy Keane was certainly a player I looked up to when I was younger and he was a real star in the Premier League during his days at Manchester United.
"He is still fairly new to management but I think his desire and belief might just be enough to keep them up."
Barry, who scored Villa's only goal on Saturday - a second-half penalty - continued: "We have had two defeats in a row now and it is important that we bounce back at Sunderland.
"Our results on the road should lift us. They are struggling at the bottom of the league so may be the pressure will be on them rarther than on us."
Villa's journey northwards comes with them in eighth place - on level points with seventh-placed Everton and trailing Manchester City who Villa face in their next home game at Villa Park on December 22.
Barry said Villa were planning to put the disappointment of losing to Harry Redknapp's men behind them and quickly.
Villa had by far the greater number of chances but failed to convert them while Pompey star Sulley Muntari had no problem in finding the net - twice to add to an unfortunate own goal by Craig Gardner.
Barry continued: "We were disappointed with our first half display against Portsmouth and it just goes to show how important it is to score the first goal. We were a shade unlucky in the manner it went in but it doesn'\t matter because they got a lift from it.
"In the end we were on the wrong end of a couple of cracking strikes. The effort was there in the second half but we left ourselves with a mountain to climb.
"It is not good enough to be starting the second half two goals behind at Villa Park. We need to learn lessons from that game. It was good to win the three games in a row on the road but it is important to follow those up with victories at home.
"Unfortunately we haven't been able to do that."