GUS POYET insists Sunderland have to wait until the end of the season to conduct the post-mortem into the playing squad.
Sunderland head into Monday night’s Stadium of Light clash with West Ham knowing that anything less than a victory would leave the Black Cats facing an increasingly difficult task to avoid the drop.
When Poyet was appointed head coach in October, the Uruguayan knew he was facing a huge job to keep Sunderland in the Premier League, with just one point on the board from the opening seven games.
The Uruguayan looked like he was on the verge of pulling off a miracle last month after Sunderland moved out of the relegation zone for the first time since August.
But despite Sunderland again being among the three favourites with the bookies for the drop, Poyet has refused to blame the squad he inherited and will wait until the summer to judge where it went right or wrong for the club.
“I knew the group of players and I tried to add carefully with players who could help us in January,” Poyet told the Football Echo
“We will fight right until the very end.
“When we finish the last game of the season, I will sit down and analyse what happened in the whole season.
“We will talk with the chairman, Lee Congerton (technical director) and the chief executive.
“I think it’s better when we finish and then we have the whole picture.”
Sunderland brought 14 fresh faces to the club during the summer, yet, among the permanent arrivals, only keeper Vito Mannone has been an unqualified hit.
Poyet’s January signings have enjoyed mixed success so far too, with left-back Marcos Alonso, midfielder Liam Bridcutt and keeper Oscar Ustari performing well, while defender Santiago Vergini has looked nervy and striker Nacho Scocco is still short on match fitness. But there will be a major shake-up of those Poyet inherited, regardless of which division Sunderland are in next season.
Only Jack Colback and Phil Bardsley, among the eight out-of-contract players at the Stadium of Light, have entered into talks over a new deal, while on-loan right-back Ondrej Celustka is likely to return to Trabzonspor.
Poyet must decide whether to make short-term moves for Ustari and Vergini permanent and ascertain the future of on-loan trio Alonso, Fabio Borini and Ki Sung-Yueng.
Sunderland are also expected to move on those players from last summer’s spending spree who have not made the grade – the likes of Valentin Roberge, Modibo Diakite and Cabral – with the latter pair currently on loan in Serie A.