Sunderland v West Brom: Premier League survival would be like a trophy triumph, says Gus Poyet

The Black Cats need a point to be sure of survival

Gus Poyet admits it will feel like he has guided Sunderland to a trophy if they manage to complete their great escape.

The Black Cats will be sure of another season in the  Premier League if they beat West Bromwich Albion at the Stadium of Light this evening, with even a point likely to be enough to avoid the drop regardless of what Norwich do against Arsenal on Sunday because of their superior goal difference.

Poyet, who took over from Paolo Di Canio as manager in October last year with his side having collected just a point from their opening seven league fixtures, said: “Normally you don’t celebrate when you finish 16th or 15th in the league. We will. It’s true, we will.”

After losing to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final in March, their next six league games yielded just a draw and they looked destined for relegation. But a point at City – but for a late error by keeper Vito  Mannone they might have won – led to three successive victories, with two of those coming at Chelsea and Manchester United.

“The problem is if you use the word ‘surprised’ it looks like you cannot believe it,” said Poyet. “I was getting close to wondering what we needed to do to win a game because we were, in my understanding, performing better even at home, but there was always something happening that meant we couldn’t go on and achieve the results.

“Maybe the first goal at Manchester City after two minutes gave the team  something that was missing to go on and start performing and winning. We are on a run now and we don’t want to stop. We want to keep playing and  winning.”

Sunderland would have been safe on Sunday had Norwich not managed to hold Chelsea to a draw.

And while Poyet would have been delighted to accept that, he is relishing the opportunity for his players to seal their fate in front of their own fans against either the Baggies or Swansea on Sunday.

He said: “It could be a  different feeling. It is not the same when you are at home on your own watching the TV and somebody else gets a result. You don’t know how to  celebrate then on your own.

“When you are in a group together playing for something and winning a game it’s better – I hope we can win tomorrow and go on and finish the game and be all together.

“Yes, it’s different – but I would take it anyway, I would take any kind of situation.

“Now the idea is we have got a big opportunity tomorrow. From three results in football [win, lose or draw], we have got two that are good for us – we need to take one of those two and then we will see.

“I don’t want things to go ahead to the weekend because it could be really tense, that’s for sure.”

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before