Round-Up: Gus Poyet targets derby day to turn his new Sunderland side around
James Mariner is a journalist who has been boring The Independent sports desk with mindless statistics since June 2007. Helping with various, wide-ranging desk duties (I made the tea once), supervising workies and the endless researching of panels, James has an unnatural love of all things football, and in particular the Europa League, being a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. He cites Brian Sears and Ledley King among his heroes and can even find something interesting in Burnley v Hull City. On a good day.
Sunday 20 October 2013
The Sunderland manager, Gus Poyet, insisted he would take a lot of positives from his first match in charge, despite the 4-0 defeat at Swansea City on Saturday.
The Uruguayan took over from Paolo Di Canio during the international break but was unable to force an immediate change in his new side’s fortunes, with defeat at the Liberty Stadium keeping Sunderland rooted to the bottom of the Premier League with just one point from eight matches.
“I learnt a lot from my players, particularly in the second half,” Poyet insisted after the defeat, which saw Swansea score three times in a seven-minute spell after the break. “My team talk was all about the ball and what we needed to do better with it to go and create something more.
“The rest of the game I was pleased with as we worked on being well organised and difficult to beat. Then we got to the second half and we did completely the opposite.”
Poyet’s first home match is Sunday’s derby with Newcastle – a match which gave Di Canio brief momentum as he inspired a 3-0 win at St James’ Park in April.
“What a game we have next week,” Poyet continued. “It is becoming serious, it is a derby, we are at home, we are not winning games and now is the time to start.”
Everton’s Steven Pienaar admitted his quickfire winner against Hull owed more to fortune than skill as he marked his comeback from a hamstring injury with the decider in Saturday’s 2-1 home win over Hull. “It was a lucky touch but I’m happy we’ve got all three points,” the South African said. “After the last seven weeks it was something I’ve worked hard for and it paid off. To get a goal and a win as well is something I’m really happy about.”
The Stoke manager, Mark Hughes, has admitted his side’s lack of goals could become a more pressing problem the longer it goes on. Saturday’s goalless draw at home to West Bromwich Albion extended Stoke’s poor run to just one strike in five games. “In every game we have played we have created chances,” Hughes said. “The longer that goes on the more confidence we will lose. It is important we start scoring and start converting what we are creating.”
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