Fixture pile up a headache for Sunderland boss

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet.
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GUS POYET admits the uncertainty over Sunderland’s fixture programme is hampering his efforts to plan a training regime for his players.

Sunderland’s postponed Premier League encounters against West Brom and Manchester City are yet to be rescheduled, while this weekend’s FA Cup fifth round ties will decide whether the Black Cats’ game at Liverpool next month is rearranged too.

Those gaps in the diary are causing a headache for Poyet, who was forced to put his planning meeting with fitness coach Antonio Pintas on ice this week.

“Without being able to plan, it causes real problems,” said Poyet.

“I had a meeting on Thursday and Friday with the fitness coach and we went through a few things and halfway through we stopped.

“Everything was ‘If we do this, if we play Manchester City then or if we have a replay in the cup’.

“All those ‘ifs’ finished the meeting.

“It’s something that should be resolved early. I think we - I put myself in that we - part of football in England, we put ourselves in situations we shouldn’t.

“We complicate things very easily.

“It’s tough, we like to plan ahead, but it becomes impossible. We’re changing weekly.

“There are things you can cope with, but when it’s constant, it becomes a little bit of a problem and I don’t like that.”

Regardless of the make-up of Sunderland’s remaining fixture schedule, Poyet is under no illusions that he will have to shuffle his pack.

While the Uruguayan is no fan of squad rotation, he believes each member of his squad will be needed between now and the end of the campaign.

“What is true is that we need every single player,” he added.

“If someone today thinks he’s not part of the team, maybe he will be key for us between now and the end of the season.”

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