Poyet: All eyes on Sunderland’s first victory

Sunderland's new manager Gus Poyet.
Sunderland's new manager Gus Poyet.

GUS POYET insists a tumultuous month at the Stadium of Light should be no barrier towards Sunderland beginning his reign with a victory this weekend.

Poyet’s appointment as Sunderland’s new head coach has brought a sense of closure to Wearside after several chaotic weeks for the Black Cats.

The Premier League’s basement boys have experienced the growing friction between Paolo Di Canio and his players, the fall-out and recriminations over his dismissal, and then uncertainty over who would replace the Italian at the helm.

By contrast, Saturday’s opponents Swansea remain on the upward curve they have enjoyed since returning to the top flight in 2011.

Manager Michael Laudrup has built on the work of predecessor Brendan Rodgers, won the first major trophy in the club’s history and taken them into Europe.

But despite that difference in circumstances, Poyet believes his first game at the helm can bring much-needed points in the battle for survival.

Poyet told the Echo: “It’s a big contrast.

“We have a few problems. We’ve changed a manager, and we’ve got a new group of players.

“But at 3pm, it’s 11v11, one referee, two linesmen. It’s about what you do in those two hours.

“It doesn’t matter what’s happened before. Swansea are in a better balanced position. Yes they are, it’s true.

“But that doesn’t mean that they are going to win.

“We will go there to win. We need to win football games. We cannot go to places looking to get just one point.”

While Poyet is eager to maintain Swansea’s winless start to the season in the Premier League at the Liberty Stadium, the Uruguayan is still an admirer of the Welsh side.

He believes they have proved the possibility of thriving in the top flight with a possession-based style – a strategy he is ultimately keen to implement with the Black Cats.

“I think they have the perfect approach,” added Poyet. “The club is balanced. They’ve changed manager, but they’ve tried to maintain that philosophy.

“That’s a big advantage for any manager who goes there.

“What a difference with Swansea as a club now.

“There’s a team who’ve been playing for five or six years in the same way and they’re slowly getting better and better.”