GUS Poyet will be the last Sunderland boss I work with as the Echo’s Sunderland writer and I would love to think he would go on to be the most successful of all I’ve dealt with.
He’s already made a stunning start.
Even had he left this summer, he would have made a major contribution to the club – having conjured the Great Escape and taken Sunderland to a major cup final for the first time since 1992.
Hopefully, though, this is only the beginning.
I loved Poyet as a player and I’ve been impressed with him as a manager, where he has brought the same qualities which brought him success on the pitch to bear in the dug-out: passion, judgment, intelligence and attention to detail.
A naturally bubbly and enthusiastic character, he carries himself with dignity and humour and is relaxed and expert with the media.
He wants to make big changes on and off the pitch at Sunderland and if he is going to stand the best chance of success he needs to be allowed to do so; not held back.
To that end, chairman Ellis Short, sporting director Lee Congerton and chief executive Margaret Byrne need to give him as much support and backing as they possibly can.
Despite all the factors that influence football, cash remains king in so many ways and Poyet’s vision and hopes for Sunderland will not be accomplished on the cheap.
So it is essential that – within the parameters of the Fair Play regulations – Poyet is given the maximum finance to achieve his goals.
As he has pointed out, many good managers have come to Sunderland before him and failed to maximise the club’s potential.
Sometimes in my time covering Sunderland, the manager has been good but the funds have not; sometimes the funds have been there and the manager has not spent wisely.
The situation now is that Sunderland again have a very good man at the helm.
So Poyet needs the full support of the club and it’s strongest financial backing if Sunderland have genuine ambitions to scale the heights of the game again.
I wish him all the luck in the world.