Poyet: Late changes are just part of the job

Gus Poyet
Gus Poyet
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A PHILOSOPHICAL Gus Poyet says Sunderland’s defensive reshuffle at West Brom was simply “part of the job”.

Poyet was forced to change his plans for Sunderland’s opening day clash at The Hawthorns after Santiago Vergini was not cleared to play.

On-loan Vergini missed the clash at West Brom after the Costa Rican FA, where the Argentine’s parent club is based, failed to send the 26-year-old’s clearance on the FIFA electronic registration system.

Sunderland were fully aware of the situation, yet, without the suitable clearance, they had no alternative than to leave Vergini out at The Hawthorns, before they eventually received the all-clear on Wednesday this week.

Poyet was forced to move 34-year-old Wes Brown to right-back, while incorporating Valentin Roberge alongside John O’Shea, with full-back Billy Jones on the treatment table.

But, after Sunderland came away with a point from the West Midlands, Poyet says the defensive tinkering was a hurdle that every manager has to face.

“We were preparing in a certain way and then we had to change it,” he said.

“It’s part of the job.

“It’s about adapting to a situation that you’re not expecting.

“To have only four defenders for the first game of the season was never in my mind.

“Normally you start with four, and a centre-half and a full-back on the bench.

“But we had all those incidents and we started.

“To get through and get a draw, analysing everything that happened, maybe we should be happy.”

However, Poyet is eager to avoid too many repeats of that situation this season, by Sunderland ensuring the remainder of the transfer window sees the Black Cats squad boosted by sufficient strength in depth.

“If you need to adapt, then we’re all this together,” added Poyet.

“We got through somehow. The character of the players and their reaction was excellent. They were saying last year we would lose 3 or 4-1.

“(Will) Buckley had a first game in the Premier League as a right-back for 10 minutes because we wanted to win the game.

“But now we need to be better as a club all together in having the players in place.”