Sunderland v West Brom: Gus Poyet warns that Premier League 'safety is not yet assured'

Sunderland have taken 10 points from a possible 12

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is refusing to take anything for granted after dragging his club to within touching distance of safety.

The Black Cats looked doomed just a few weeks ago when they slipped seven points adrift of 17th place in the Premier League, and few observers gave them any chance to avoiding the drop.

However, a return of 10 points from a possible 12 - from trips to Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United either side of a must-win home clash with Cardiff - has rekindled their hopes to such an extent that even a point against West Brom at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday night would almost certainly be enough to preserve their top-flight status.

But having seen Crystal Palace launch an astonish late fightback to deny title-contenders Liverpool victory on Monday evening, Poyet will leave nothing to chance.

Asked if he ever feared Sunderland had passed the point of no return, he said: "We are realistic - I have said that word here many, many times, 'realistic'. It was becoming more and more difficult.

"When you have got 10 games, you think, 'If we win four or five, we are going to be all right'. Then you have got six and you are still there - it's more difficult, no doubt.

"We hadn't won three game in a row in the whole season and we have done it now in style - Chelsea, at Old Trafford and at home against Cardiff when that was probably the biggest game of all.

"That's football, I suppose. Listen, after the game yesterday, I think we all agree that anything can happen at any time, so you need to be spot-on, especially in the Premier League.

"You need to be at an incredible level because even in other parts sometimes when a team goes 3-0 down, they think 'Let's lose 3-0 now, there's no chance we are going to get back'. But here, yes, you can come back.

"It was good that game for us, it was good. It was a little bit back to tension, back to tomorrow, to the end, to the last minute like we did at Old Trafford.

"One-nil or 2-0 or whatever score it is if you are lucky enough to be up, you need to really work hard to keep that result because it's a great opportunity."

Should Poyet complete the mission he was handed in October last year, he will head off on his summer break to enjoy a well-earned rest, although he admits there will still be hard work to be done before he can do that.

He said: "There are so many things to do, I don't know where I am going to start. But depending on Wednesday or Sunday, of course the first thing is the players.

"There are plenty of players who have been in a tricky situation without contracts, and they have been playing and they have been fighting and they have been suffering and playing with pain, and I think they deserve my first spare time, so that's going to be the first move.

"Then, I suppose, pre-season, and then a little bit of relaxation with the wife - she's going to kill me as well."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future