GUS POYET said he was disappointed by Sunderland’s defeat at Swansea on Saturday, but not surprised at the scale of the challenge he has taken on trying to keep the club up.
“The task is not bigger than I thought it would be,” said the Uruguayan, with the Wear-Tyne derby looming fast on the horizon.
“I knew how big it was and how difficult it would be.
“I know what we need to work on – what I don’t know is how quickly we can work.
“But I hope, I really, really hope, that we can work quickly because we cannot lose any more games.
“From my side, we are going to have a long week.
“From Monday to Saturday we will work with the players on the pitch, then we have the game on Sunday.
“On Sunday, after the game, I can tell you if we got better.”
Ahead of the game, Poyet had challenged everyone who made the starting 11 to make themselves undroppable by the quality of their performances.
But, after the Black Cats’ heaviest defeat of the season, few will feel confident of keeping their place and Poyet admitted he would be reviewing the performances of the senior players – Wes Brown, Modibo Diakite, Cabral, David Moberg Karlsson and Connor Wickham – who played in the Under-21s’ 2-2 draw against Chelsea at the weekend.
“We told them that they needed to play for the U21s because we have a very big, fit squad which meant that we had to leave five or six behind,” he said.
“So I thought it was good for them to play in a big U21 game at home at the Stadium of Light against Chelsea.
“I need to watch it. I will look at the players we left behind, and I will have decisions to make.
“I will also watch the Swansea game again too, and I know that there will be things there that I don’t like.
“But I learned a lot about the players from the game.
“I learned massively about individuals in the second half, and, for a manager, that is very important.
“This is the Premier League and you cannot improve a little bit game by game – there isn’t time.
“You have to improve now, and that is the task.
“It is difficult, but I believe it is possible – it is up to us.”