GUS Poyet was as confused as any Sunderland fan in the Liberty Stadium at the way his side imploded in the second half of the Black Cats’ game against Swansea City today.
The new head coach had been happy with the way his team had played in the opening 45 minutes of the game and had instructed his players simply to keep taking care in possession and look to create more openings.
Instead he saw his players give the ball away cheaply, fail to contain Swansea as they had done in the first half and lose their focus at crucial moments, slumping to a seventh defeat in eight Premier League matches this season.
“Unfortunately, it was a sad debut for me,” he said.
“We had talked to the players who have been with us over the last two weeks about the goals we have conceded in the second half.
“It’s something we had looked at and had hoped to change but it has happened again.
“It has been happening for while now, so we need to keep on talking about it – or change the way we play because it is not happening for us at the moment.
“My team talk at half-time was all about the ball – about creating more and keeping the ball – but I have to say the rest of the half I had been very, very pleased.
“I thought we would see more of the same, but, in the second half, we did completely the opposite – so opposite in fact that it was hard to explain – and here we are right at the bottom.”
The Uruguayan made a big call in his first game in charge by picking Phil Bardsley to start his first game since May and the head coach was happy to stand by that decision.
“I brought Phil back and I thought he did all right, “he shrugged.
“We can talk for ages about the rights and wrongs of these things but he’s a good, strong natural defender who can play at left-back.”
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