Poyet plots Sunderland’s survival path ... but first win is needed to build momentum

CITY CHALLENGE ... Gus Poyet.
CITY CHALLENGE ... Gus Poyet.
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GUS POYET admits he is already calculating what would constitute a successful survival tally for Sunderland.

The Black Cats face an uphill task to secure the necessary points from their remaining 30 Premier League fixtures after taking just one from the opening eight games.

Traditionally, 40 points is seen as the magic haul needed to avoid the drop.

But just 37 has been sufficient in each of the last two seasons, with Sunderland’s total of 39 seeing them finish three points clear of fourth bottom Wigan in May.

Poyet told the Echo: “If you go back five or six years ago, then 40 points was the number.

“That would mean we need 39 points from 30 games.

“Last season was tremendous, everyone got more points than they expected.

“We will see with five or 10 games to go how many we need.

“Not everybody will make 50 points.

“You can analyse it anyway you like how we get there – 13 wins maybe?”

Poyet realises though that any calculations over potential points tallies are irrelevant if Sunderland cannot start winning.

The Black Cats have not emerged victorious from a Premier League game since April and head into Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby on the back of six successive top flight defeats.

And new head coach Poyet insists that losing habit needs to be vanquished on Wearside, regardless of the opposition.

“People think if you win this one and that one, then you don’t worry about Chelsea,” he added.

“But the sooner we start winning, the better.

“Somehow now, as soon as possible, we have to start winning and it doesn’t matter against who.

“Of course it’s better against the teams who are at the bottom, but it doesn’t really matter.

“Now, we have to take slight risks in games to go and win them.

“I think that’s the strength of a manager.

“You need to know after an hour or 75 minutes whether to take a point and go home – or think this is a game where we have a great chance to win the points.”