Burnley vs Sunderland: Gus Poyet grows desperate for winning formula

Sunderland’s next two league matches are at the Stadium of Light

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The Independent Football

Gus Poyet’s threat to kill himself if his team did not start winning was made with the broadest of grins but the Sunderland manager is growing increasingly exasperated with his players.

Compared to the civil war 10 miles away at Newcastle, Sunderland might seem a haven of calm. However, it is late September and they, like Burnley, have still to win in the Premier League. Thus far they have four draws and one loss. Saturday’s goalless draw at Turf Moor – a stalemate with the emphasis on the “stale” – was of little real help to either side.

Sunderland’s next two league matches are at the Stadium of Light and Poyet knows that, unless either Swansea or Stoke can be beaten, there will be serious questions asked about the quality of his squad. This is, after all, the club that saved their neck by winning four of their final five matches, including victories at Manchester United and Chelsea.

“Then, we were making better decisions at the end,” said Poyet. “For some reason, the team clicked. At the moment we are not playing terribly but we are not playing fantastically either. We are still trying to find the XI that will give the team its first win.

“We have an opportunity now at home not just in the League Cup [against Stoke] but in the two Premier League games, of which we must win one. If not, I am going to kill myself.”